5 things you can do if you are being bullied by a teacher
School can be tough, and sometimes it’s hard to know how to cope or deal with certain situations that arise behind the school gates. If you are being bullied for example, it can often be hard to identify what steps you can take to combat the prejudice you are experiencing. This is especially true when the perpetrator is someone you are supposed to be able to rely on or trust, or in a position of authority – like a teacher.
If you are being bullied by a teacher you may be unsure of who to turn to for support or what to do next; with this in mind we have compiled 5 tips to help you. Remember that Ditch the Label are always here for you and that you can access further support here.
1. Tell someone you trust.
This is a great starting place.
When you’re going through a stressful or difficult situation, it can be hard to find perspective or see things with clarity. Bullying is something that affects the majority of people but worryingly, our research revealed that 45% of those who experience it, fail to report it through embarrassment, fear or a lack of faith in support systems. If you are experiencing bullying it is important you go through the appropriate reporting channels, even if you are being bullied by a teacher. Your first port of call should be confiding in someone you trust. This could be a friend, another teacher you trust, a parent/guardian/learning mentor or another trusted relative or family friend. You can always contact Ditch the Label for tailored advice too.
If somebody is exhibiting threatening behaviour, giving out personal information or giving you the impression that your safety might be at risk, contact the police or a responsible adult immediately.
2. Don’t suffer in silence.
Learning to ask for help is honestly one of the best things you can do for yourself and the younger you learn it the better! Even if you don’t want to report it, it is important you share with someone what you are going through – you shouldn’t go through something like this alone as it is extremely stressful, and can be emotionally draining and taxing to endure bullying. This stress can have impact on all areas of your life, including your mental wellbeing, ability to communicate with others, performance in school, self-esteem etc. It is therefore incredibly important that you tell somebody you trust about what you are going through; it doesn’t even have to be an adult – it could be a friend or somebody at Ditch the Label. It is vital, during a traumatic time, that you have a support system and people who you can rely on when you are feeling low, or unable to cope.
3. Keep a record of what is happening.
It’s important to keep a record of what is going on – the more detail the better! Write down dates, times, what happened/what was said. Did anyone else witness it? This evidence will be crucial if you decide to report it.
You usually start the reporting process by speaking to another teacher (some schools have a dedicated anti-bullying member of staff). If this doesn’t solve it then gradually escalate by reporting as follows: Senior teacher (this may be your Head of Year or Department) > Assistant/Deputy Head Teacher > Head Teacher. It is a good idea to read your school’s Anti-Bullying Policy (this is sometimes included in the Behaviour Policy) to ensure they are following the steps set out in this document. Most schools make this available on their website or you can ask the school office for a copy.
If the situation isn’t resolved, or you are unhappy with the outcome then the next steps are to raise the issue with the school governors (The Board of Governors) > Report the bullying to the Local Education Authority (LEA) > Make a formal complaint to OFSTED (Call 0300 123 1231 or email [email protected]) > Report to The Department for Education.
You can also contact Equality Advisory & Support Service (EASS) on Freephone: 0808 800 0082 or Text Phone: 0808 800 0084. They can advise on equality and human rights across England, Scotland and Wales. This includes discrimination based on unique characteristics such as (but not limited to): race, colour, nationality, religion, belief, disability, sexual identity, gender or sexual orientation.
4. Talk to us.
We are one of the largest anti-bullying charities and we are always here for those who have been impacted by bullying. If you or anyone you know needs help or a push in the right direction, please do not hesitate to get help here.
5. Be brave.
It turns out courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s feeling the fear and still taking the action anyway! That’s why it’s so important we don’t wait until we feel brave enough to share something that is causing us pain. Be brave, seek the help you need. We promise you won’t regret it.