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To Sam

please help

I have a friend who in class is frequently made fun of by the group of rowdy boys. They don't leave her alone. They pick on her clothes, her hair, her attitude, the things she says. They are constantly (there's about 4 of them all much taller than she is) going up to her and taunting her by stealing her stuff or touching her hair and face and hands. If she gets told of by a teacher they will start cheering her name saying 'way way (her name) way way, she got told of today, yay yay!' One time she got told of for talking and the boys started to chant and our teacher didn't do anything. Then when sir went to go and help someone with their work, the worst boy went up to her and started hugging her and then made sexual noises and references until she ran out the class room crying. (This is not the worst they have done). So she went to the school nurse in tears and she told her to write a statement to our head of year.

The next morning she came into 1st lesson in tears because our head of year, the person we are always meant to talk to about bullying and the only teacher we are rendered to when we are told about bullying, told her there was not enough evidence to prove that the boys had done anything wrong, and so he couldn't even speak to the boys about it. Anyone in that class could have told you what had happened.

What are we supposed the to do when the person we are told to go to when we experience bullying turns a blind eye to a crying 13 year old girl who presents him with a list of names who just ignores her?

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for your letter. I’m pleased you’ve got in touch for help with this situation.

I can hear how frustrated you are with your head of year over the bullying of your friend. You’ve done the right thing talking to your head of year and it’s a shame that he hasn’t been as supportive as he should have been. It can be frustrating when we approach someone like a teacher and then see that nothing has happened. I am glad that you did not give up and have decided to write to me. There are a couple of things you can do now to support your friend to help with the situation. 

Firstly, your friend could keep a bullying diary - making a note every time something happens. It can just be a piece of paper she keeps in her pocket. She could use it to make a note as soon as she is safely away from any bullying. It would help to write down the date, time, what happened, who did it, who was around and how she felt. If more than one sheet is needed your friend could file them together at home. You might find more useful information about this on our bullying page or on Bullying UK.

The second option would be for your friend to talk to her parents about this and ask them to talk to school. It seems unfair but sometimes school will take a situation more seriously if parents make contact with them.

It sounds like you are a really good friend to this girl and knowing that she can turn to you for support when she needs to will mean a lot to her. You could also talk to your teacher again and tell them that nothing has changed and how much the bullying is affecting your friend. Sometimes we need to tell people more than once for things to change.

I can hear that this bullying has been really hard on your friend and that it has also affected you as someone who is there for her. You can both contact ChildLine anytime you need to for more support. You can ring for free on 0800 1111, have an online 1-2-1 chat or you can send emails, although it’s worth knowing that it can take up to 24 hours for a counsellor to reply to emails.

In the meantime please take care,
Sam

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