Bullying can disrupt and deteriorate the happiness of college life and it is something we take very seriously.
Here are some key points on bullying and how we can prevent this behaviour in our own College life.
It is important to remember that although we may share many similarities with our peers, we are all individuals and our differences must be valued and respected. It can be these differences that spark bullying or segregation in college, so it is vital that we understand and learn to respect others in their opinions, cultures, ethnicities, sexualities and values and to not divide and isolate.
If you find yourself in a scenario where bullying is occurring, a helpful way of gaining perspective on the situation is to imagine yourself as the person affected and decide if this is something you would be happy with happening to you. If the interaction is negative, excluding and demeaning, then you can choose to remove yourself from the situation and to not take part. This will encourage others to follow the same positive choices and reduce the amount of bullying taking place.
It is so important that young people feel safe, secure and valued in their college. Creating a safe environment and dealing with bullying is our shared responsibility and we should opt out of this negative behaviour when we see it happening.
As we have seen above, bullying can take many forms, and from time to time, you may be asked to do college work from home which presents with it the potential for 'cyber bullying'. Cyber Bullying is bullying over the internet, and can happen pretty much anywhere you can access the web - from phone to laptop, Snapchat to Facebook. Cyber bullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else, and you may have seen this happen before.
Being bullied online can affect someone enormously and can impact their self-esteem, confidence and social skills. We have supported people affected by this type of bullying, and in many cases they have had to leave school, work and social networks to escape bullying. Try to consider the impact your words may have and think twice before posting.
If you experience bullying first-hand, see it happening or are aware of its occurrence, the best thing you can do is speak out about the situation and consult a member of staff. We are here to support you in your education, and we encourage speaking to your tutor or another member of staff about the troubles you or someone you know are facing. The only way to prevent bullying is to address the problem head-on, to discuss and resolve together.
Once you have spoken up about the bullying you have experienced or seen your tutor and the relevant people at the College, they will be able to give you the direct support you need to resolve the issue. By speaking out and seeking help, you are taking the right steps to move towards a more united and inclusive place of learning.
If you have any extremely urgent worries, you should contact NHS 111 or suggest to your friend they contact the Samaritans, for free confidential 24/7 advice.
Find out more about our safeguarding services here.