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Bullying at school/college

Illustration: Deesha Lucas - Cambridge Regional College

A group of students in your year are making your life hell..... they say things to put you down whenever they see you and look for ways of making you feel bad like tripping you up when you are carrying food and putting posters up about you that make you feel bad.† You feel trapped in a situation thatís getting worse and you donít know what to do or who to turn to.

What do you do next?

  • Talk to your tutor about it.
  • Try to keep your head down and avoid these people
  • Contact a bullying helpline

Read on to find out which of these options you should or shouldnít takeÖ.

Talk to your tutor about it

This is really your best option as your tutor is part of the system where this is happening and he/she is best placed to do something practical about the bullying. All schools and colleges have policies and procedures for dealing with bullying† so by telling your tutor, year head or in fact any other member of staff they should be able to help you.

If you donít quite feel ready to go to a member of staff about the bullying you could speak to your school/college counselor if you have one.† Telephone and internet help lines are also a good starting point.

People often donít tell the staff at their school/college because they are worried that it will just make things worse.† This should not happen because bullying is something the staff will have dealt with before and they will be experienced in sorting problems out.

Try to keep your head down and avoid these people

While ignoring what the bullies are saying can be a way of dealing with bullying it is not a complete answer to the problem.† The theory is that by ignoring them they will get fed up with what they are doing if they donít get a reaction from you.† However ignoring them is a reaction in itself so it doesnít always work.

As this wonít fix the problem by itself you will still need to think about the other two options.

Contact a bullying helpline

Bullying helplines or online chat on Bullying websites are a good way of getting support especially in the early stages of sorting things out.† They are usually anonymous so you wonít have to give your name if you donít want to, they are usually free and wonít show up on your phone bill.† They are a good starting point if you feel helpless and donít know what to do next and you will be able to talk to people who will listen and give advice.† Sometimes talking to a helpline will help you to put a stop to the bullying but often you will still need to talk to someone at your school/college about it.

A good thing about contacting a helpline is they can often make you feel a lot better about things and get you in a position where you can cope with the bullying.

For more information about dealing with bullying take a look at our bullying section

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