BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Education  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 16 January, 2002, 16:16 GMT
Victims question exclusion policy
Red Balloon stduents
Two victims who now have a safe place to learn
The government wants to make sure that any pupil expelled from a school in England for persistent bullying is not sent back into the same school by an appeal panel.


I think that bullies only bully other people because they have their own inner problems

Jessica, 15
But, perhaps surprisingly, an expert in helping the victims of bullying thinks expulsion is not the right answer in the first place.

"The children that we have here have often been bullied by large numbers of children ... the whole class," said Carrie Herbert, director of the Red Balloon Learner Centre.

"Are they going to exclude all the children?"

Nor do the victims themselves see it as necessarily the best solution.

Underlying reasons

"I think they should have counselling or something," said 15-year-old Jessica.

Jessica
Jessica: "They should have counselling"
"Because I think that bullies only bully other people because they have their own inner problems, or they are having difficulty fitting in and they think this is a way.

"So I think you should address the problems and the reasons why they bully other people."

Jessica is now in the Red Balloon, an independent charity in Cambridge for teenagers who have been victimised, trying to rebuild her self-esteem after the bullying she suffered.

"Gangs of kids would pick on you and call you names and nick your things and throw them about and think it was funny, or wait for you outside the school gates and throw things at you and laugh, because they thought it was funny."

'Own fault'

She said it led her to question why she was being attacked.

"Then you start to think that it's your fault that they're doing it because there's more of them than there are of you, so therefore you just think really badly of yourself."

Expulsion of the bullies was "an idea", she said.

But the victims also needed help.

"You can take the bully out of school but you've still got to go to school and you've still got to get on with your life."

Anthony:
Anthony: "They are always going to be there"
Anthony, now 17, said the bullying he suffered also covered a wide range, from being shunned to being physically attacked.

"On the school bus there was screws being dug into my head, and much more awful things that I don't really want to talk about."

It made him feel lonely and friendless and his school work suffered.

But he also did not think automatic expulsion was the answer.

Call for resources

"No matter what you do to get rid of them out of the school they are always going to be there in your life somewhere, out of school.

"With my brother they were on the doorstep, waiting to beat him up.

Dr Carrie Herbert:
Dr Carrie Herbert: "Victims need resources too"
"No, I don't think it's right to exclude them - just leave them there and at least try to sort the problem out before you go into that kind of depth of trying to eliminate them."

Dr Herbert herself argues that there is a need for centres such as the Red Balloon in probably every town.

"I do think we need to put some resources for the children that have been damaged by bullying.

"Children who have bee bullied need one-to-one special care, counselling, help through their studies - and just to leave them in mainstream schools and take out the bullies, I don't think is going to solve the problem."

See also:

09 Jan 02 | UK Education
16 Jan 02 | UK Education
16 Jan 02 | Mike Baker
16 Jan 02 | England
16 Jan 02 | UK Education
05 Nov 01 | UK Education
16 Nov 01 | UK Education
04 May 01 | UK Education
11 Apr 01 | UK Education
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Education stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Education stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes