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My friends

Dear Sam,
My friend made me swear never to tell anyone but I want to talk to someone about it. Today at school he was sitting on the steps by the door and looked really upset, I asked him what was wrong but he wouldn't answer, so I asked around the people that he knew and someone told me that he was getting bullied by two boys. I told him that he should not let this keep him down but he ran away, I'm really worried for him and I want to stand up to the bullies but I promised not to say to a teacher.
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Sam

Hi there,

Bullying can happen to anyone at any time. Bullying is wrong and no one has the right to hurt your friend and make him feel bad and upset. He doesn’t have to put up with it. There are ways to get help.

It sounds like your friend might not be ready to talk about what is happening to him.  Perhaps you could explain to your friend that you are there if he wants to talk to you, even if he doesn’t feel ready to tell anyone else at the moment.

Talking to you may help him cope with what’s happening. It can be hard supporting a friend when it feels like they are not listening or don’t want help. This might be because they are scared of what will happen if they speak out. It can also help to take their mind off the bullying by talking about other things, playing a game, hanging out with your friend at break times, walking home together or sitting together on the bus. Being in a group of trusted friends can be a good way to help stop bullying.

All schools should have an anti-bullying policy, which sets out what the school will do if bullying happens. It means that a school has the responsibility to protect its pupils from bullying and to take action of someone is being bullied. Perhaps you could check this out and see if there's anything in there that might help. 

You have promised not to speak to a teacher about it, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t encourage your friend to speak to a teacher and to go along with them for support if they decide to report the bullying.

You might like to explain to your friend how he can contact ChildLine to talk about this. It would be confidential between him and ChildLine. He could look at our advice about bullying and watch our videos to see if they help. He could also to check out the message boards where he will be able to find out how other people are coping with bullying. 

You are being a great friend and we're also there for you if you need to talk. We have advice about helping a friend which you could look at for more ideas of what you can do.

Take care for now,
Sam

 

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