Bullying still tops list of ChildLine concerns

12th December 2003 at 00:00
David Henderson listens to one headteacher's experience of changing the attitudes of her pupils (below) while the school ethos conference, organised by the Anti-Bullying Network in Dunblane, hears about the importance of listening

Bullying remains the number one concern of the 550 children who daily phone ChildLine Scotland. One in four confesses to anxiety about it, and most are bullied by a group rather than a single person.

But lack of funds means that the service can only field half the calls.

More phone lines will be installed in the new year, linked to counsellors; meanwhile young callers continue to be turned away.

Last year 5,900 children called about bullying, seeking comfort, advice and protection. Callers can be affected by just one incident.

Young people describe bullying as name-calling, teasing, being hitpushedpulledpinched or kicked, having their bagmobile taken, receiving abusive text messages, being forced to hand over money, being forced to do things, being ignored or left out, or being attacked because of racereligion or disability.

ChildLine advises teachers to involve young people in anti-bullying work "as this is far more likely to succeed than if ideas are imposed upon them". Its bullying helpline is on 0800 44 11 11.

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