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To Sam

I feel like I am going to get bullied

Hi Sam,

Hope you're keeping well,

I am going to comprehensive/secondary school next year and the school which I am going to join has got loads of stories about people getting bullied. I am worried that someone next year will bully me because of my skin colour.

Please give me some advice.

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Starting secondary school can be exciting but it can also be scary and confusing. Anyone could be bullied at home, school or online. No matter where it happens, it’s wrong.

Bullying can be name-calling, being teased or put down. You could be physically pushed around, threatened or humiliated.

Being bullied can have an effect on the way you feel about yourself. You might feel angry and want to fight back. But remember, acting in this way could get you into trouble - or you could get hurt.

Being bullied is not your fault and you deserve to have support.

There are ways to make it stop, and even though you’re not being bullied now, it’s good to know what to do if it ever affects you, or one of your friends.

All bullying is wrong and racial bullying is against the law.

Racism is when someone treats you unfairly or differently because of where you’re from, your culture or the colour of your skin.

Sometimes, differences like race or culture can stop people getting to know each other. Finding out more about people and their way of life can help us understand different cultures. Everyone should be given respect and be accepted for who they are. Your new school should have an anti-bullying policy, which talks about what the school will do if you’re being bullied. Your school has a responsibility to do something about bullying if it’s reported.

One way of making sure this happens is to keep a record of any bullying in a diary.

It often helps to tell someone about what’s happening. Lots of young people worry that telling someone might make things worse, but talking to a trusted adult or a friend could be the first step to getting help.

Remember that you can always speak to a Childline counsellor if you’re still worried about going to secondary school. You might also find it useful to talk on the message boards, to find out what going to a new school was like for others.

Thanks for your letter.

Take care

Sam

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