Keeping a record of bullying incidents
If you feel or believe that your child is being bullied, then it helps to be as clear as you can about the details before you contact the school.
Speak to your child and try to write down as much of the detail about what happened as possible. This will help you to identify if there are any patterns to the bullying and keep a record for current and future use.
Types of bullying
There are different forms of bullying, such as:
- Verbal - name calling, insulting, teasing, mocking
- Physical - pushing, hitting, kicking, damage to belongings
- Indirect - spreading nasty stories, exclusion from friendship group
- Conditional friendship - where a child thinks someone is their friend, but times of friendliness are alternated with bullying
- Exploitative bullying - where features of a child's condition can be used to bully them
- Manipulative bullying - where a child's behaviour is being controlled
- Cyberbullying - nasty texts, sharing photos, instant messaging, Facebook and other social networks, including online gaming.
Keeping a bullying record or log
It includes questions such as:
- When did the bullying happen?
- Where did it happen?
- What happened?
- Describe the incident.
- Who did the bullying?
- Who saw the bullying?
- How was your child affected at the time? Were there any later effects? Include photos of injuries if relevant.
- Did you tell the school? Who did you tell?
- What did the school do?
- Have things got better, stayed the same or got worse for your child?
Using the record when you meet the school
Having a bullying record can help provide evidence to show the school that your child is being bullied and how they are affected. Remember the accepted definition of what bullying is. Before you meet with the school, think about how your child was affected:
- At school
- In their school work
- With you and the family
- With other people
- In themselves
When meeting with the school, you might want to summarise the following, supported by the bullying log.
- Describe your child in a few lines. Have they changed? Start with how they were before the bullying and how they are now.
- Detail any dates of bullying; include information about how your child was affected after each incident.
- Describe any patterns to the bullying.
- Add your thoughts about the effects of bullying and the possible implications if it does not stop.
- Have you any photos or can anyone else support your record? If so, ask them to write down what they saw or the effect on your child.
- Read about what the school can do to stop bullying.
- Find out how you can help your child to respond positively to bullying.
- Learn how to prepare for a meeting with the school.