We focus so much of our time and effort on teaching our children to respect their roots, their heritage, their lineage or their faith. However, when they become victims of bullying related to race and faith, you often find yourself wondering how to help your child not to feel left out or bullied because of the way they look, their culture or their nationality.
As teachers and parents, it is natural to become increasingly concerned about rising levels of bullying incidents. To help combat this, the Anti-Bullying Alliance has suggested some key actions that schools can take, both to prevent and respond to race and faith targeted bullying.
- Send out an email to all students and parents to remind them of the school ethos and values and remind them too, that the school challenges all forms of bullying and abuse. That email must stress that any reports of racist behaviour will be taken seriously even via social media platforms.
- Ensure that your anti-bullying policy and cyber safety policies include race and faith targeted bullying This can be posted on your school website so that it is readily available to all members of the school community.
- Encourage students to be vigilant about bullying, prejudice and abuse, and to report any concerns.
- During tutor time, in assemblies and through the curriculum, take time to ensure that all students feel that they are all equally cherished, respected and valued. Reassure them that if they have any worries about bullying or abuse, they can speak to teachers and support staff.
- All members of the school community should be informed that any offensive language or comments will be strictly dealt with.
- If you are unsure how to handle such situations, then it is important that your school seeks advice. Here are some organisations that may be able to offer additional support: ChildLineSupports, Tell MAMA, crimestoppers-uk.org, org and victimsupport.
Choosing a resource or activity that can help prevent race and faith targeted bullying
You can have a policy to tackle issues relating to bullying, but when it comes to bullying related to race and faith, it can get a bit sensitive. Follow these steps:
- Ensure that you familiarise yourself with the resource. For instance, if it is a film related to bullying, watch it all the way through.
- Consider whether the resource may provoke strong reactions in students or if it could lead to conflict. If it does, how will you manage? Also, understand whether you might need additional support either prior to using the resource, during or after the session.
- Check whether the resource is suitable for the age group.
- Encourage students to talk to you if they feel uncomfortable during any of the sessions, because bullying related to race and faith need to be tackled delicately.
Not all incidents of bullying due to race, faith and culture need legal intervention. Your first approach should always be to talk openly with your child’s school. Also, don’t forget to ask:
Is your school protected?
A cyber safety solution is an ideal way to secure your school’s networks. Securus is designed to protect pupils and staff on the curriculum network by way of alerting the schools safeguarding team of inappropriate and potentially harmful behaviour.