Bullying blights the lives of children and adults

Commenting on the start of Anti-Bullying Week, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:

“Anti-Bullying Week provides an important opportunity to highlight the devastating impact which bullying can have on the lives of both children and adults.

“Bullying is all too often dismissed as just part of school life, but the effects of bullying can last a lifetime. It is also important to remember that bullying does not just affect children and young people but, as NASUWT research has shown, it is worryingly prevalent in the workplace as well.

“If bullying is to be eradicated, it has to be tackled in all its forms. No one should be the target of abuse because of their gender, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, religion or body image.

“Sadly, evidence shows that bullying on the grounds of disability and targeted Islamophobic attacks are all on the rise in the UK.

“The rise of social media has also provided another tool for bullies to attack their victims, often anonymously and from the comfort of their own home.

“Schools have a vital role to play in educating young people about bullying and tackling it.

“Education, action and empowerment is critical if the scourge of bullying is to be effectively tackled.”

Notes to editors

Research by the NASUWT has shown that:
Over a quarter of teachers said that workplace bullying by other staff members in their school happened frequently;
Three-quarters of teachers who have been bullied are female;
81% of disabled teachers report suffering bullying and harassment in the workplace;
Nearly a third of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teachers feel that levels of bullying and discrimination against LGBT teachers have either increased or stayed the same in the last three years;
More than one in five teachers have had comments or information posted on social networks about them by pupil or parents related to their role as a teacher.

The NASUWT has invited teachers to share their experiences of bullying. A selection of comments is below.

Social media:
“A Facebook page was set up by a pupil who claimed he wanted to kill me – he invited others in the class to join.”

“I had comments from a parent saying I was a nasty teacher and telling me to go 'home' (I am not a UK citizen)”

“Comments made about my appearance and most recently about going off on maternity leave and "not caring about the classes I've left behind" and claims that "my son will fail now because of you”

“A pupil posted on Rate My Teacher that my skin was covered in potholes.”

Workplace bullying:
“I reported racial abuse and was made to feel I was in the wrong”

“I was prevented from using my married name because I am gay and the head says it is unnatural”

“I suffer from depression and was off sick for 11 months during which time I almost lost my job and was effectively bullied back into work. My head ignores the fact that I am a person with a disability and is frequently rude, overbearing and sarcastic to me; invading my personal space and making me feel threatened. This is always done without witnesses.”

Lena Davies
Press and Media Officer
0121 457 6250 / 07867 392746