Skip to main content

Put a stop to ‘snitch’ culture

Victims of bullying may be reluctant to seek help because they fear the social isolation of being seen as a ‘telltale’ – and zero-tolerance approaches can make things worse, argues Luke Roberts

Magazine article image

Telltale”, “snake”, “snitch”. In the focus groups I have been running as part of my research into bullying, these are the terms that keep coming up, unprompted, from teenagers. And this reluctance to be seen as “telling” on other pupils is not an issue only in secondary. At a recent Inset session for a primary school, a teacher told me he had heard pupils using the phrase “snitches get stitches”.

We cannot underestimate the impact a “snitch” culture has on how we manage behaviour – specifically bullying – in schools.

I naively used to think that the concern around being a snitch stemmed from ...

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.

Subscribe now