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Bullying and starting at a new school

Dear Sam,

My friend has been bullied at school a few times and has left the school. He is starting a new school soon. He keeps talking about being bullied and that because of the bullies, he had to leave his school. I told him that he shouldn't tell anyone at the new school until he knows that he can trust them, but he thinks that I am wrong. What should he do so that he is not targeted again?

The thing is, he has Aspergers and he read an article about kids with disabilities being more likley to getting bullied. He is afraid that it will happen again but I think that it is more likely to happen if he tells people that he doesn't know well.

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Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for getting in touch with me. I can hear from your letter how worried you are about your friend. It sounds as though you are really protective of him and want to help stop him having another bad experience at his new school.

Nobody should get bullied at school. Everyone has a right to be safe – but unfortunately sometimes people do get bullied for all kinds of things. Often anything that makes someone "different" can be the thing that they get bullied for. 

Having a disability doesn’t mean someone will be bullied for it. There are lots of people with disabilities who aren’t bullied at all and there are lots of people who get bullied for other things.

If your friend tells people he got bullied in his last school it’s not automatically going to mean he gets bullied again. It’s possible he could tell people and they might be really kind to him and keep an eye on him to make sure it doesn't happen again. It’s difficult to say what people would do as everyone is different. Your friend would be the best person to judge each situation as it comes.

It's difficult for you, though, to be worrying about him and whether or not he's going to be safe. I wonder if you could help him with a "Plan B." Maybe go on the school website or look in the planner and see what support exists there just in case he does get bullied again. Just making sure he knows you’re there for him might be enough.

There's also loads of advice and info on our bullying pages.  You can also talk this through with one of our counsellors if you'd like either by calling 0800 1111 or using the 1-2-1 chat on the website.

I hope this helps.

Take care,
Sam

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