In the U.K. bullying is taken very seriously and there are very strict laws on the books to prevent bullying in schools. UK law states that every public school is required to have a policy on student behavior that discourages bullying in any form. Each school is responsible for setting their own policy and making students, teachers and parents aware of the policy.Learn all about the Anti Bullying Law In The United Kingdom.
In addition to enforcing policies on bullying, schools are also required to comply with all anti-discrimination laws. Every school staff is required to report any incidents of harassment, victimization and discrimination that they witness in their school. The schools in Wales, England and most of Scotland are required to comply with these rules. In Northern Ireland, they follow different anti-discrimination laws.
Changing the Anti Bullying Law In The United Kingdom
In 2009, the government of Westminster began a campaign aimed at stopping the bullying of children who suffer from disabilities. These children are often targets of bullying because they are vulnerable and unable to defend themselves. There have been complaints that schools are not doing enough to take responsibility for bullies. Educational lawyers in the United Kingdom stated that the heads of their schools aren’t being held accountable for bullying, even though they should be. Lawyers have called for it to be required that the head of any school report bullying and address every case of bullying that takes place in their school. They have also stated that every school should receive assistance from an independent adjudicator, which is a judge authorized to make legally binding decisions on a particular topic; in this case, bullying at school.
In one case of school bullying, a parent felt the need to take legal action against her children’s high school. She accused the school of allowing her son to be attacked by another student with 40 other students witnessing the attack. The bully reportedly used a metal road sign to beat her son. As a result, the parent kept her children out of their school for almost a year. She said not only were they being physically bullied, but emotionally bullied too. The school went so far as to blame the bullied students, claiming that they caused many of their own problems and that the bullying took place away from the school, so they had no obligation to do anything about the incident.
Taking Measures To Stop Bullying In Schools
One college in the United Kingdom, Shuttleworth College, has aimed to cut down on bullying by creating a unisex bathroom on campus. Many United Kingdom schools have had problems with students bullying each other in the bathrooms and a unisex bathroom has apparently cut down on the amount of bullying taking place.
Cyber bullying law In The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom takes cyber bullying very seriously. The UK has four statute laws regarding cyberbullying. Those four laws are:
- The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994
- The Protection From Harassment Act of 1997
- The Malicious Communications Act of 1998
- The Communications Act of 2003
The Criminal Just and Public Order Act of 1994 defines intentional harassment and classifies it as a criminal offence. This is defined as abusive verbal or written actions or threats. The Protection From Harassment Act of 1997 was designed to tackle cases of online and offline stalking. However, it does extend to harassment as well. The Malicious Communications Act of 1998 deals with threats made through electronic connections such as emails, chat rooms and social networking sites. The Communications Act of 2003 targets people who send threatening messages on either a public or private Internet connection.
When it comes to the United Kingdom, bullying is not tolerated as much as it is in the United States. There are much stricter laws in place to prevent cases of both bullying and cyber bullying. When it comes to anti bullying law and schools, the United Kingdom sets the standards for the rest of the world.