"I would rather be a little someone than a big bully any day of the week! In my time as a Probation Officer, I had to deal with the huge consequences of hundreds of adults either being bullied or being a bully and was shocked by the grave effects it has had on their lives thereafter.
I have worked with adults past their forties who were bullied at school thirty and more years ago. Despite the passage of the years, they still suffered the consequences of their bullying into adult life. Such adults became so non-assertive in their behaviour and so fearful in their expectations that they literally dare not say, 'Boo to a goose.' They were unable to socialise, formulate friendships or sustain relationships. Or indeed, live the independent lives that most of us do and take for granted. Some of the males who were bullied as boys go on to become bullies and wife beaters in their adult lives and many of the girls bullied at school, often find themselves as women who become victims in abusive relationships with their partners.
In today's progressive age of smart phones and laptops, much bullying occurs on the phone or internet. Being unable to take the bullying and humiliation any longer, many young victims go to the extreme lengths of killing themselves. Bullying is not a 'male issue' either as it affects both girls and boys in equal measure. Never underestimate the evil things that some girls are capable of doing today when it comes to their dealings with other girls whom they either dislike or pick on.
Bullying has a vicious cycle if left unattended. The bullied victim either grows up to become a bully themselves in adult life or sadly remains a victim of past circumstances. For society at large, I would say there is no more devastating gesture we can make that encourages bullying to continue than to condone it through silence. We collectively do this by either watching it occur, ignore it happening or turning our backs on its presence by doing nothing at all to stop it!
Between 1990-2005, I held over 2,000 assemblies in Yorkshire Primary Schools. In every assembly, I assumed that some degree of bullying took place whatever the head said and consequently, I always gave the assembled children the following advice to stamp it out:
(1) In order for bullying to exist, it requires three participants: the bully, the person being bullied and the audience.
(2) If you are the person being bullied, tell an adult in authority that you trust. Do not stay silent. If you stay silent, the bullying will continue and will most likely get worse!
(3) If the bully has no audience or knows that any audience will disapprove and intervene to stop the bullying, the bully will not operate in that arena. All bullies need an audience to feed from. It is the audience of the bully that encourages the bullying to continue, by either watching, ignoring it, refusing to do something to stop it and walking away from it as though it doesn't concern you.
(4) I would like you all to know that anyone in this school who is a bully is also a victim. They were almost certainly bullied by someone else before they bullied you; often a family member. Deep down they are wanting someone to 'tell on them' so that they can be stopped and receive help too. The longer a person is a bully, you see, the harder it is for them to stop. That is why they also need your help by telling someone in authority.
(5) So if you want no bullies in this school or boys and girls being bullied, tell someone if/when it is happening. Do not encourage it to happen by watching it, ignoring it or turning your back on it and walking away as if it doesn't concern you. It does! Bullying concerns everyone!
If you were going to do something bad to another person like calling them nasty names or break their leg, did you know that it is kinder to break their leg? Bones will mend in a month or two, but the effects of name calling can still be there fifty years later!
Because the subject of 'Bullying' was such a big issue when I was visiting schools regularly, I wrote two children's books for the 7-11 year old reader. The first book is called, 'Tales of Bernard'; about a homeless dog who is bullied by a pack of strays who bully the town. This book was praised by the actor Christopher Timothy who starred as the veterinary film character, James Herriot in the tv series 'All Creatures Great and Small.' The second book is called, 'Fighter,' which is about a boy who is extremely small in size and is bullied at school. That book was praised by the late Roy Castle. Both books are available in e-book format from www.smashwords.com or in hard copy from amazon and www.lulu.com All profits from book sales go to charity to add to the £200,000 book profits already given to charity from the sales of my books between 1990-2005. William Forde: May 27th, 2015."