By Amanda Ross
CEO, Cactus TV and Kidscape Ambassador
A lot has changed since I was a child and bullied at school. In those days, lack of information, and communication between school and parents made it hard to identify problems let alone rectify them. Now, thankfully, there are organisations like Kidscape, that can educate children, parents, schools and the bullies themselves about acceptable behaviour. So, you would think that there are less people suffering, but sadly there are not.
Because of my personal experiences, and my association with Kidscape, I am more sensitive to the signs of bullying. I chose a small supposedly nurturing school for my son, with a zero tolerance to bullying, but even here he wasn't safe. In some cases, schools are reticent to acknowledge a bullying problem, because of the potential consequences in today's world of social media, school reports, Ofsted and grading.
In many ways Kidscape is more necessary and relevant today than ever before. Parents need to educate themselves with the correct means and vocabulary to seek action in schools to get heard and to get results. I was actually asked by the headmaster to retract an email that used “the 'B' word” as he called it. He did not want to have on record anywhere that anyone had complained at any time. He questioned my use of the word bullying, and my understanding of the term. Thanks to Kidscape I was well equipped to stand up for myself and my son. Sadly even that wasn't enough, so we had to change schools. I decided if I couldn't affect a change, we need to make a change for the good of our family.
If bullying has touched your family life you need to be brave, and stand up for what you know is right. The wonderful education and enlightenment Kidscape provides will help you do that.