I, Elizabeth, first became affected by bullying when I was bullied as a child. I couldn’t understand why I was bullied, and why, even though some people were aware of this, it continued to happen. I was called racist names and physically assaulted, people used to spit in my hair, and sometimes, when I was hiding, several people would search for me to threaten and push me. As an adult looking back, I realise that as the bullying grew in severity, I became known and targeted as a ‘victim’. When I later researched bullying for my undergraduate degree, the academic literature made me feel ashamed of being a victim, particularly when I read a description from Salmivalli et al. about ‘helpless’ and ‘provocative’ victims1. I remembered what my experience felt like as a child: the cold sweats, being frightened of school every day, unable to concentrate on my work. I became weak, anxious and I could hardly eat. But then, as I read Salmivalli’s suggestion that the best response to bullying ‘is not to respond’, I took a more critical stance. As an adult who has researched bullying and a practitioner implementing anti-bullying strategies in school, I do not believe that bullying should be reduced to something that should just be ignored. Bullying places children’s safety at risk, can cause anxiety and even suicide.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||School Leadership Today|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|