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To Sam

Being bullied for being foreign

Hi, im 14 and recently moved to scotland from germany (about a year ago) and since then ive been getting bullied by boys in my year and the year above me for being german (physical and emotional bullying). I brought it up to multiple teachers and even my pupil support teacher but nothing has been done and i dont know what to do anymore. I dont want to tell my dad because hes a single parent and works 12 hours so i dont want to stress him out more. Ive been name called etc because of my bad english and accent and most of them have to do with ww2 which im sure you can imagine. Im really insecure now and dread going to school, which is having an effect because im picking my subjects soon and have horrible grades. Its also having a toll on my relationship with my dad as im really antisocial now and we dont talk much and i hate that, were more like flatmates than father/son and i really want to change that

hopefully you can respond to my letter, and if you do i look forward to your reply

many thanks

Ask Sam


Hi there

It's never okay for someone to bully you for any reason. When the bullying is to do with who you are or where you're from it can be especially difficult because it's very personal and can affect how you feel about yourself. It's difficult to challenge bullying and it's hard to know what to do when nothing seems to work.

Racism comes in lots of different forms and bullying and harassment based on where you come from is against the law. It's usually called a hate crime – this term describes someone who is doing something illegal, like harassing you, based on your nationality, race or ethnicity. Hate crimes are very serious and those people bullying you could get in trouble with the police.

Telling someone about bullying is always a good first step, but it doesn't always fix things right away. It can take some persistence and patience before anything happens - and this may mean you need to tell more people. You've told a few teachers and nothing has happened so it might be time to tell someone above them, like the head of year or headteacher. Keep track of the people you've spoken to and what they said they would do. Your school staff have a responsibility to look  after all of their students so it's up to them to put a stop to what's happening. If you don't feel they are living up to their responsibility you can go to Ofsted to make a complaint. You can also always go to the police - physical bullying is a crime and it's your right to report it.

It takes a lot of courage to keep speaking out - especially when you begin to take your problem higher up in your school. Confidence starts with knowing that what's happening to you is not okay. You have a right to be there just like everyone else and no matter where we come from, we all deserve respect.

I hope this has helped, our counsellors are always there for you if you want to talk more. Thanks for sharing this with me.

Take care.


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