We will be marking this national week in school with a range of activities, trying to highlight the problems of bullying that surface from time to time in every school, and of course the things that can make bullying a thing of the past. It’s really difficult given the climate outside school, whether that’s in public discourse, in the media or in cyber space. In a society that relies more and more on electronic communication, the capacity and opportunity for face to face contact all too often falls by the wayside to the detriment of relationships.
Bearing in mind the fact that we have only recently emerged from a time where we were all bubbled this year’s week will be especially important. We all have to re-learn what it means to really talk and really listen, to read body language and sense what others are trying to say rather than just taking mere words and literal translation. There’s so much more – that has to be picked up by students across the age range now that we are back together, and the after shocks of isolation are still being felt by many.
This year’s national theme is ‘One Kind Word’ (see https://anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/anti-bullying-week/anti-bullying-week-2021-one-kind-word). I make no apologies for reproducing some of the key content from the website here, as it makes such important points…I really do hope that we can all do a little bit, inside and outside school, to encourage kindness. It can make such a difference.
“Ask if someone’s OK. Say you’re sorry. Just say hey. In a world that can sometimes feel like it’s filled with negativity, one kind word can provide a moment of hope. It can be a turning point. It can change someone’s perspective. It can change their day. It can change the course of a conversation and break the cycle of bullying.
Best of all, one kind word leads to another. Kindness fuels kindness. So from the playground to Parliament, and from our phones to our homes, together, our actions can fire a chain reaction that powers positivity. It starts with one kind word. It starts today.”