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Time for a rethink on bullying?

Time for a rethink on bullying?

Our approach to bullying in schools tends to be about 'heroes' and 'villains' – but it's rarely so clear cut, writes the former government mental health champion for schools

I’m lucky, since I’ve only ever had to make a complaint involving sexual harassment in the workplace once during my 20-odd years of being in some form of employment. I’m less lucky insofar as my solitary complaint was not only ignored but also resulted in the termination of my own contract.

The reason, I believe (other than the institution in question historically famed for being steeped in layers of sexism) is that the perpetrator was a known victim of abuse himself. Clearly, a difficulty had arisen in framing the individual responsible both as someone who has befallen injustice and misfortune and someone capable of doing something wrong.

This is problematic because a lot of the time people who do things which are wrong have befallen injustice and misfortune at some point in their lives. It doesn’t, or at least shouldn’t, mean they are exempt from any sort of consequence.

Similarly, my colleague Nadia at the Self-Esteem Team tells of when she was in her final year of primary school and was being severely bullied by one of the other girls in her class.

Read more.

 

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