Bullying is a matter of stating supremacy in the weakest and most vulgar form…it is not a phenomenon and cannot be dated back to any period; but it is a rising trend. Bullies are becoming more detached and ruthless; they are now finding creative methods of inflicting pain, and not getting caught.
Bullying has always been present in UK schools, but until the late 1980s, although people were aware that it happened, it was not an issue of major public concern.
As bullying rarely manifests itself in serious physical abuse, it is not usually covered by the criminal law of assault. In addition, the fear engendered by bullying and the social stigmatization that can follow has often made victims unwilling to speak out.
The emergence of social media has given access to almost anyone, and allows you to say pretty much anything at any time; through anonymity if you choose. So what was alien and bizarre is now ordinary if not expected- and children are thus made more vulnerable.
But there is hope.
Although bullying is not a specific criminal offence in itself, different aspects of bullying may be. For example, harassment or threatening behaviour could be an offence under the Harassment Act 1997, and sending an offensive electronic communication could be an offence under the Malicious Communication Act 1988. As bullies are getting more resourceful in their methods; this just means you have to be resourceful in fighting back.
Also, a newly enacted policy (the Education and Inspections Act) requires schools to place measures to encourage good behavior and eradicate bullying amongst students. This act permits head teachers a statutory power to punish students showing unacceptable conduct, including bullying, when they are not on school premises. This somewhat aids the mission of preventing bullying, as it acknowledges its gravity and validates its repercussions.
More on History of Bullying in the UK below…
Also the UK government has published a new measure in 2011, for school administrators and staff. The document, ‘Preventing and Tackling Bullying’, empowers schools in preventing and responding to all forms of bullying as part of their overall behaviour policy.
It also outlines the Government’s approach to bullying, the legal obligations and the powers schools have to tackle bullying, and the principles which underpin the most effective anti-bullying strategies in schools. This is a major breakthrough in bullying history; which is now gaining notoriety as it rises- a steppingstone in its prevention once and for all.