Faith targeted bullying
Children of faith may be a target of bullying behaviour. It may include prejudicial comments and name-calling (e.g., Islamophobic or Anti-Semitic comments) but is just as likely to present as other forms of bullying behaviour such as physical abuse, manipulation, coercion, or social exclusion. Faith targeted bullying can happen face to face and/or online. Children can experience bullying from other children and/or from adults. While schools must take action to prevent all forms of bullying behaviour, children with protected characteristics (which includes faith) have additional protections under the Equality Act 2010.
It’s important to note that although children may be targeted for their faith, research shows that faith is also a significant resilience factor in supporting children to handle difficult relationships and experiences.
What to do if your children experiences bullying
The school has a legal duty to prevent all forms of bullying, and under the Equality Act 2010 must prevent all forms of harassment targeting faith. For more information see ‘Help with Bullying in School’. In some instances, the bullying behaviour may also constitute a crime and you can contact the police on 101 in a non-emergency, or 999 in an emergency.
The majority of social media platforms have an acceptable use policy, and you can report incidents. If the perpetrators are from your child’s school, the school should take action to address their behaviour. In some instances, the bullying behaviour, whether face to face and/or online, may also constitute a crime and you can contact the police on 101 in a non-emergency, or 999 in an emergency.
In the community
The local authority has a duty to keep your child safe from harm. If you are worried about the safety of your child, contact your local children’s services team. In some instances, the bullying behaviour may also constitute a crime and you can contact the police on 101 in a non-emergency, or 999 in an emergency.
Additional information and support