We want to believe that we live in a society where the colour of someone’s skin does not mean they are treated differently. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and within our Annual Bullying Survey 2019 we learnt that one in ten people believed that they were bullied because of attitudes towards their race.
We know that people of colour are disproportionately disadvantaged in society with oppression in the workplace and institutions such as schools and with authorities. This may be out of our hands, but what we can control is the language that we use and create a more inclusive space around us for everyone.
Obviously, some racism is intentional and in your face. But there is another thing that people of colour are just plain fed up with: microaggressions. Microaggressions are subtle, regular, subconscious discriminations made towards marginalised groups that may not seem like a big deal on their own but together they are a recipe for causing offence. They can be pretty rubbish to hear all the time because it basically means that, despite it being 2019, a lot of stereotypes are still alive and kicking.
Here are some of the top culprits for microaggressions you may not even realise you are saying:
1) “Your hair is so cool, can I touch it?”
Just because someone’s hair is different from your own, you should never pet them. Appreciate from afar like a work of art.
2) “So when did you move here?”
Assuming someone wasn’t born in the country just because of the colour of their skin is not a good look. In the UK we are a cultural melting pot and you can still be British and be lots of different races.
3) “Where are you actually from?”
Same as above duh!?
4) “Wow! Your English is just so good”
This person could be a native speaker, they could speak 4 languages, you never know.
5) “It’s weird, I’ve never really seen you as black.”
THIS. Is something a lot of black people are fed up of hearing. There is no right or wrong way to be black and you saying that you don’t see someone’s race makes them feel erased.
6) “What kind of food do your people eat?”
…..We all love pizza bro.
7) “Hey, can you tell us what the Indian perspective is on this issue?”
It is not the responsibility of people of colour to speak for their entire race and educate you. We are all separate people with unique thoughts and feelings.
8) “Wow, you really sound…different….than on the phone”
What were you expecting? The common rhetoric that people of colour all sound a certain way or use ebonics is so reductive. The way you talk is usually influenced by your family or your social group/ where you grew up.
9) “So is your Dad black and your Mum white?”
So many people jump to thinking that mixed-race people all follow this formula in their genetic make-up. There are so many different variations of mixed race out there and assuming there is only one makes us all feel a bit crappy.
10) “That’s a weird name, its hard to pronounce is it okay if I call you Jim?”
A name is only weird to you because it’s not what you are used to. Learn someones name, learn how to say it, it will mean a lot to them and never just rename them to something you can pronounce!
11) Any variation of “Damn girl you are so sassy/fierce/strong/ *finger snap* you tell em sista!”
Recognise any of these?
Don’t worry if you were guilty of making one of these mistakes. A lot of us are. Remember lots of different micro-aggressions built up over time can become mega-aggressions. So have a look at our tips to help de-programme your unconscious bias and try to communicate with empathy. Finally just remember the number 1 rule – don’t be a dick!
Not sure if you have unconscious bias, take our quiz to find out!
Have you been affected by bullying? You can speak to one of pour trained Digital Mentors here for one-to-one support and advice.
It’s 2019. We all know that being an ally is the only place to be for communities that are marginalised. But, being an ally is so much more than wearing a rainbow sequin skirt at Pride, or taking your mate to their first gay bar. Yeah, that’s still pretty good, and probably a whole lot more than what would have gone down when your parents were young, but we can always do better.
This Anti-Bullying Week we are taking you on a journey through your unconscious bias (and if you don’t know what that is you can find out here).Turns out a big part of unconscious bias is a thing called a microaggression. That’s basically saying something that, in the grand scheme of insulting, isn’t actually that bad, but it can still be pretty rough to hear them all the time if you are gay. It also means that a lot of stereotypes are still alive and strong. That’s why we have come up with a cheats guide to what not to say so you aren’t throwing microaggressions around the place like dirty socks on your mums clean carpet.
1) “But you don’t seem gay”
This kind of implies that all LGB+ people fit a certain ‘type’ which of course they don’t. In the same way that every straight person has all the things that make up their personality and what they like and dislike, it is literally no different.
2) “You can be my gay best friend”
Unless you earn somebody’s friendship, you don’t have any right to it, especially if that’s based purely on their sexuality. Get to know someone, and if it’s a friend who has come out to you, just think about the kind of pressure you are putting on them to behave a certain way.
3) “I love gay people”
Urrrrrr cool. It’s great that you do, and that you want to be an ally, but people are a lot more than their sexuality. Love them for that stuff too.
4) “That’s so gay”
No it’s not. Please stop.
5) “Can’t you make up your mind?”
Reserved for bisexual people mostly, this one needs to be cancelled asap. Making your mind up has nothing to do with it. It’s not like we’re choosing between two different jumpers over here.
6) “It’s just a phase”
Ugh. No. Nobody’s sexuality is a phase. End of sentence.
7) “Prove it”
No one is a performing monkey. Why don’t you prove you’re straight and see where it gets you?
8) “You’re too pretty to be a lesbian.”
“I’m so sorry for the inconvenience caused to you by the fact that I am conventionally good looking and not into your gender” said no one ever.
9) “Who’s the man/woman in the relationship”
For real, in 2019 do we really need to keep comparing everything against heterosexual relationship roles? Not even that, but like super outdated ones. Guys can be sensitive, women can be powerful. Get with the times guys, because we are not here for this.
10) “I know a gay person/my friends gay too”
“Oh do you? That’s great! I probably know them because ya know, we all have a secret club where we all congregate and discuss this shit”
11) “But won’t I get hit on in a gay bar?”
Dude for real? Just because you might hang out with people who happen to like your gender, it does not make you instantly irresistible.
12) “You’re just doing it for attention”
A huge amount of the attention that LGB+ people get is negative. Why would anyone want to put themselves in that position unless they were doing it so they can live like their true selves?
Want to know what people think about LGBT+ issues today? You can read our Annual Bullying Survey in full here.
So it can be pretty easy in 2019 to believe that gender stereotypes no longer exist. Hell, the women’s World Cup last year was the most successful it’s ever been, meanwhile Queer Eye is tearing up a storm on Netflix. So how can they still exist, right? When the world is looking pretty wonderfully gender fluid from where you’re standing? Well, we know that the planet still has a long way to go to get rid of gender stereotypes completely, which is why we threw together this list.
1) That ad about the bad dads
Did you see that ad on telly where the dads get so distracted by how good their cream cheese is they actually leave their babies on a conveyor belt? Well, for one we aren’t sure cream cheese is ever that good, but it also raises a few questions about how we look at mums vs dads. Like, would a mum ever do that in an advert? Probably not. Plus it’s pretty rubbish because it assumes kids raised by a same sex male couple would basically be lost to dairy products within the first few years of their life. We love dads, and we know that they can be pretty damn incredible parents.
2) All ads for washing up liquid or laundry stuff
On the flip side, tell us an ad you’ve seen for washing up liquid or laundry tablets that has a guy in it. We’ll wait. Yeah didn’t think you could get one. Basically every tv ad for these kind of household products still show a woman doing the job. And we’re all just over here like “it is not the 1950s anymore”. We aren’t saying that being a homemaker isn’t legit, our point is that women can be anything, and ads like that are much more likely to make little girls (rather little boys) feel like their only value is doing the laundry.
3) Speaking of kids, toys are a wild ride in gender stereotypes
Remember when you were a kid and your parents would let you make out your birthday list from Amazon or the Argos catalogue. Well wherever you got your swag from, a hell of a lot of it would have been geared to you based on gender. Most “boy” toys are to do with war, violence, sports or traditionally “male” jobs. Things like laser guns, action dolls, football toys or playstation games are all geared towards boys being boys, and growing up to be men in the most traditional sense of the word. But what about the boys who like to play with makeup, enjoy art, or love animals?
4) In fact, a whole bunch of job roles are still pretty sexist
10/10 we would put money on your school crossing guard being a woman, or your bin men being exactly that – men. That’s because we grow up calling people lollipop ladies, bin men, postmen and milkmen. Even when you’re 12, your first ever job is probably influenced by which gender you are.
Nannies and babysitters are much more likely to be girls whereas those with paper rounds and doing odd jobs for cash are much more likely to be boys. Why? Because women and girls are supposed to be maternal and super in to childcare even from a really young age, and guys are supposed to be strong, athletic, handy and practical.
5) Same goes for relationships
Ever wondered why married women end up being a mrs, but guys get to be mr forever? Yeah that’s all to do with the outdated idea that a married woman becomes her husband’s property. Pronouns are a little more fluid today, and loads of women opt to be a ms, but it’s still a bit rogue that it still exists as even an option.
6) Same-sex relationships also bear the brunt of it
“Who wears the trousers?” “Who’s the man/woman in your relationship?” Yeah these are real questions that real people in same sex relationships get asked all the time. It’s pretty rubbish to be asked this kind of stuff as it basically completely ignores how far society has come, and implies that same sex relationships are not as valid as heterosexual ones because these roles are not fulfilled. The fact is, no one has to fulfill any of these roles in a relationship, because you can make your relationship into anything you want it to be, and that’s the real T.
Basically, we think that it would be much better for everyone if gender stereotypes were cancelled. They put everyone into boxes that will never make them happy, and makes us all have to put up with a little more criticism and negativity in our daily lives.
The only way we are ever really going to bury them for good though is to keep living our best lives exactly however we want to, and the more we do that, the more the rest of society is just going to have to deal with it.
You do you, no matter who you are. We’ve definitely got your back.
Have you been affected by bullying? You can speak to one of our trained Digital Mentors for confidential support and advice here.
We’ve all done it from time to time, sometimes more than a little often. Judging other people based on appearance alone can become second nature to most of us, even when we don’t mean it to. It can often come down to a thing we all have called unconscious bias, meaning our brains make snap judgements about people without us even noticing. What you might not know though, is that making snap judgements about other people based on their appearance is actually probably more down to how we feel about ourselves than anything else. That’s why we put together this list of 8 things you can do to stop judging others and feel better about yourself.
Think you need to train away your unconscious bias? Click here
1) Recognise comparison
We are pretty much always comparing ourselves to others. All day, every day. But especially when it comes to how we look. It’s the easiest way to compare right – without knowing anything about all the people you are sat near on the train, how they look is all the information you have on them to measure yourself against. The thing is, comparison is judgement, and it serves literally no other purpose but to make you feel bad or to put that negativity onto others. Stop it in its tracks next time you find yourself comparing by distracting yourself with something else to do, or humming your favourite song. Soon, you’ll break the habit.
2) Practice giving others compliments
It’s definitely true that the more positivity you put into the universe, the more it comes back to you. So practice thinking nice things about other people. If you see someone walking down the street and you don’t like the way they look, stop your judgement in its tracks and think of a positive thing instead. Similarly, actually compliment friends and family – even tell a stranger something nice. The more you get used to being positive, the less likely you are to judge people.
3) Practice giving yourself a compliment
Just like we said above, the more you get used to being positive, the more you’ll just do it out of habit, and slowly stop judging. The thing is, you need to do this for you as well as everyone else. The kinder you are to yourself, the less likely you are to compare, and therefore the less likely you are to make judgements.
So, for every compliment you give to someone else, give yourself one. It could be something like “I am clever and kind” “I am fun to be around” “I love my hair today” “my skin is looking great” or anything else that you need to hear. If you had someone in your life that said as many negative things to you as you probably say to yourself, you probably wouldn’t be keeping them around. So it’s time to get kinder.
4) Clear out your social media
There’s a pretty simple rule to live by when it comes to social media. If you see something on your social media that makes you feel bad about your life, you appearance, your clothes or your body, unfollow them. Just like if you follow people and regularly judge them – whether they are people you used to know IRL or a celeb on IG, unfollow them too. If it doesn’t bring you joy, it’s not worth giving yourself the excuse to be negative or to compare yourself against them all the time.
5) Or even take a break from it completely
Even though we all love to scroll through IG, it definitely makes judging people part of our everyday lives, even when we are completely alone.Check out this list of ways you can take a break from social media.By putting a bit of a buffer between you and social media, you might find the amount of time you spend judging people drops pretty quickly, and you have plenty more time on your hands to do some stuff just for you. Win win.
6) Take care of yourself
It’s important that you take care of you. It can be easy to be super self critical, especially if you are trying to stop judging others. We are all our own worst enemies, and every time you find yourself making a snap judgement it can be pretty easy to beat yourself up about it. But, you are making real efforts to change, and that’s a big deal. Make sure you give yourself the space to breathe and the time you need to make these changes.
7) Remember that not everyone’s the same and looking different is not a bad thing
So it seems pretty obvious, but we judge people because they differ from us in some way. But the world would be a really stupidly boring place if we were all the same right? Humans are made to be different from each other, so people are meant to be fat, skinny, tall, short, of different races, ethnicities, genders and have different senses of style.
Have you been affected by bullying? You can talk to one of our trained Digital Mentors for confidential support and advice here.
Ever judged someone without meaning to, or maybe made a snap decision about someone before you’ve actually gotten to know them? Yeah, we thought so. That’s a thing called unconscious bias. It’s basically a big pot of all your experiences, opinions, media reports and things people might have told you about others. These all build up after a while, and mean we make judgements about other people based on things like race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, appearance or background.
Our Annual Bullying Survey (which you can read here) also found out that this is a huge reason why people bully. So, we figured that if we can tackle it, we can help to end bullying for good. That’s why we put together this handy guide to hacking your unconscious bias.
1)Be aware that you have it
So, here’s the thing about unconscious bias. The whole point is that you don’t know you have it. Confusing, right? And how are you supposed to help deal with something that you and everyone else in the world doesn’t actually acknowledge? Yeah, we don’t like to set ourselves easy tasks. The first step is being aware of your unconscious bias and where it might lie for you. Take our quiz here to find out.
2)Reprogramme your thoughts
So, you’ve found out about unconscious bias, but now what? Thought reprogramming might sound like something out of Ex Machina, but it actually is a great way to stop yourself from judging others. So, next time you find yourself making snap judgements about people you don’t even know for whatever reason, try to reprogram that thought.
Check yourself by turning that negative thought into a positive thought about them. So, something like
“That guy is such a baby for crying like that” could be “being vulnerable can’t be easy, and it’s actually pretty brave to do that”
“That girl looks ridiculous” could be “she is really pretty”
When we are run by negative thoughts and impressions of people, that becomes all we put out into the universe. Make some changes to your thought patterns and see what positivity you can put out there. Whether you believe in karma or not, it’s never a bad idea to be nice about somebody.
3)Think about why you feel that way
We know it’s hard to look critically at why we feel a certain way. But there probably is a reason why you feel a certain way about someone before you know them. Whether that’s your parents’ opinions, a news report that said something negative about a certain group of people, or even just that you haven’t encountered much diversity in your life.
If this is the case, try and expose yourself to different groups of people from different backgrounds. The more we’re around different people and get to know them, the harder it is to make judgements based on simple facts like skin colour, gender or sexuality.
4)Think about your environment…
Maybe you have a couple of pals or a family member who have pretty strong opinions on certain groups of people. Well this could really affect the way you look at the world. Sure, we all like to be independent and individual, but there is no denying that how others see the world affect our perception of it too.
5)…And make some changes to it if you feel like you have to
So, with that in mind, maybe think about doing something about it. We aren’t saying you should immediately break friends with anyone who has a negative opinion about anyone else, but there are things you can do. Try sitting down with them and ask them about why they feel that way, or show them this. Maybe it might be an opportunity for them to have a think about why they feel that way.
6)Check other people if you feel like you can
Kinda like what we said above, if someone in your life is saying a lot of negative stuff about other people for no good reason, call them out on it. Chances are, they don’t realise they have unconscious bias. Get them to do our quiz and see if they feel ready to make changes. Then, you can start your self-improvement journey together, which is pretty sweet.
7)Spread the word
Yeah, unconscious bias is everywhere, and it’s a pretty big beast to try to defeat, especially when most people have no clue that they even have it. The thing is, we are not going to stop trying because we know it can have a direct impact on why people bully others.
Get some of your pals involved, spread the word at your school and see if you can help tackle bullying by tackling unconscious bias.
8) Everyone is different
The world would be a pretty boring place if we were all the same, so inevitably you are going to meet people who are different to you. That doesn’t mean that they are in any way wrong, or deserve to be outcast. Especially if these people are in the minority, it’s important to remember that they should be included in society just as much as anyone else.
Think your unconscious bias might be making some decisions for you? Take our quiz to find out!
Hey guys, so did you know it’s Anti-Bullying Week this week? Well it is! And we have been working our socks off to research bullying all around the UK. This is the Annual Bullying Survey, and this year we’ve decided to do it on the theme of Pride and Prejudice. Basically, we wanted to look at all the reasons why people bully, including one thing called unconscious bias.
Unconscious bias is something that we all have, and it means that we all have this little things in our head that make it easy to make snap judgements about people, based on our environment, the media, what our friends and family think, and just general opinions we have all formed in our past. This might mean we find it easier to judge people for being overweight, looking different to us, race, gender or ethnicity.
Anyway, here’s a super speedy summary of the report. Also, before you read on – this blog post contains some stats that some people might find difficult to read. If at any time you feel like you need help, you can get one-to-one support from one of our trained Digital Mentors here.
Did you know that bullying is one of the biggest challenges facing people below the age of 18 right now? Yet there’s still a few myths that suggest it’s ‘just part of growing up’ or the rhetoric that tells those who experience bullying to ‘just ignore it’. This week, in commendation of Anti-Bullying Week, we’re asking – do we still need it? Here are 9 reasons why the answer is a mahoosive yes.
1. Going through bullying can feel lonely, crappy and isolating
Anti-Bullying Week sends a clear and much needed message to anyone who is currently suffering at the hands of bullying: you are most certainly not alone. Whilst it feels lonely and dark sometimes, help is available. You can talk to us here.
2. Bullying is one of, if not, the biggest issue facing young people today
The latest Ditch the Label research finds that half of all teens in the UK have at some point experienced bullying, with a third being subjected to online abuse.
3. Because the impacts can’t be ignored
You think bullying is ‘just part of growing up’? How about depression, anxiety, suicide, self-harm and eating disorders? Are those things part of growing up too — because these are all very real impacts of bullying.
Telling people to ignore the abuse they receive sends a very clear message – withdraw from your emotions and allow the abuse to continue. It is literally impossible to not be impacted by persistent bullying.
5. The internet makes it easier than ever to be abusive
It’s no secret that the internet dehumanises us all and researchers have known for a long time that people find it easier to be abusive towards something that they consider to be less than human. Throw anonymity into the mix and there’s a perfect storm for online abuse.
6. Bullying isn’t old news
Contrary to popular belief, Bullying is not an outdated thing but in fact, it is a very current issue that loads of people are going through right now.
7. Anti-Bullying Week raises crucial awareness
By raising awareness of the catastrophic effects that bullying can have, we can help those most affected by it.
8. … and provides a forum for those who need it
Talking about bullying can be tough and may feel embarrassing and Anti-Bullying Week provides a safe forum to talk about these issues. Don’t forget that we have the largest and only dedicated online support community for anybody who is affected by bullying. You can get involved here.
9. Anti-Bullying Week opens the door to talking about the root issues
Anti-Bullying Week allows us to raise awareness to thework we do with those who bully to become better, happier and more understanding people instead of villainizing them. In doing so, we can overcome bullying all together.
If you’re currently going through bullying, please don’t suffer in silence. We can help you and we can help make it stop, so utilise us and please speak up. We’re here and we’ve got your back.
Cyberbullying was experienced in the previous 12-months by 26% of the students we spoke to in 2019 and comes in many forms.
Although, like all forms of bullying it is subjective to the recipient, we define cyberbullying as the following
“Cyberbullying is the use of digital technologies with an intent to offend, humiliate, threaten, harass or abuse somebody.”
Anybody can become a recipient of cyberbullying, regardless of how old they are or the kind of job that they do or what their hobbies might be. In fact, it is well documented that a lot of our favourite celebrities and role models also experience cyberbullying, often to an unrelenting extreme.
The most important thing is knowing how to deal with it. Here are the top 9 ways to deal with cyberbullying if you’re being targeted:
1. Never respond
Do not reply to anything that has been said or retaliate by doing the same thing back. Saying something nasty back or posting something humiliating in revenge may make matters worse or even get you into trouble.
If you can, take a screenshot of anything that you think could be cyberbullying and keep a record of it on your computer or phone.
3. Block and report
Most online platforms have this function, make sure you block and report the offending users to the appropriate social media platform. Or talk to us about removing it!
4. Talk about it
You may not feel it at the time, but cyberbullying can affect you in many different ways. You are not alone. Talking to somebody about bullying not only helps you seek support but it documents evidence and will take a huge weight from your shoulders.
5. How serious is it?
Assess how serious the cyberbullying is. If it is light name-calling from somebody that you don’t know, it may just be easier to just report and block that user.
If it is more serious, then talk to us or a trusted adult. Whether that be your parents/guardians, an older family member or a teacher at school.
6. Report it
If you are experiencing cyberbullying from somebody you go to school or college with, report it to a teacher. If somebody is threatening you, giving out your personal information or making you fear for your safety, contact the Police or an adult as soon as you can.
7. Be private
We recommend that you keep your social media privacy settings high and do not connect with anybody who you do not know offline. You wouldn’t talk to random people on the street, so why do it online?
People may not always be who they say they are and you could be putting you and those that you care about the most at risk. Learn about catfishing here.
8. Talk to them
Sometimes it may be appropriate to request that a teacher or responsible adult hosts a mediation between you and the person who is bullying you online if they go to the same school or college as you. A mediation can be scary but is often incredibly powerful. It is essentially a face-to-face conversation between you and the person bullying you in a controlled, equal environment. This is a proactive and effective way to deal with online bullying.
Always remember that happy and secure people do not bully others. People who bully are going through a difficult time themselves and will often need a lot of help and support. That doesn’t make it right what they are doing but it does give some insight and understanding and help to reassure you that it is never your fault.
This lesson explores the root causes of bullying behaviour and encourages students to reflect on why people feel the need to bully others. It pushes high ability students to consider potential methods of combating bullying through tackling the root causes.
This lesson asks students to examine their own online behaviours and understand the consequences of some of their actions. It allows them room to explore the subjectivity of cyberbullying behaviour and reinforces their responsibilities regarding their behaviour towards others online.
The resources are all completely free, digital and available for teachers across the country to download.
Anti-Bullying Week 2019
Anti-Bullying Week 2019 runs between Monday 11th November – Friday 15th November 2019.
Our research shows that 1 in 2 young people will, at some point, experience bullying. As a result, 1 in 3 will self-harm, grades will drop and 14% will develop eating disorders. Getting students engaged in activities, assemblies and lessons can be a really effective way to start conversations about bullying and the impact it can have.
We recommend a whole week of activities to generate school engagement around bullying.
Monday: Anti-Bullying Week Assembly
Tuesday: All students participate in The Annual Bullying Survey
Wednesday: Lunch-time fundraising activities
Thursday: PSHE lesson on Bullying
Friday: Tutor-time anti-bullying activity
The Annual Bullying Survey
Taking part in The Annual Bullying Survey makes for an ideal activity during Anti-Bullying Week.
It is the largest annual benchmark of bullying in the UK and each year, secondary schools, high schools and colleges from across the country take part, enabling us to better understand the dynamics and nature of bullying.
Students will need approximately 30 minutes to participate in the online survey, and we highly recommend that ALL your students take part.
As part of Anti-Bullying Week, many schools choose to run fundraising activities to fund vital support for those who are experiencing bullying. Or learn more about our flagship Anti-Bullying Week Fundraiser – Give It Up for Ditch the Label.
Here are 5 ways your school could get involved and raise money for Ditch the Label or download a printable version to use in your classroom this Anti-Bullying Week.
Go silent – give up your voice for the day in return for sponsorship. We know nearly 50% of young people who are bullied never tell anyone, not a teacher, not a parent, not a friend – everything you raise will help us reach more young people affected by bullying and give them back their voice.
Get active – organise a sports match & charge an entry fee. Football, netball, rugby, volleyball, whatever you like playing. You could even go for a staff v student match to for the ultimate grudge match! If everyone pays an entry fee it’s a really simple way to raise funds for Ditch the Label.
Go on a (digital) holiday – give up technology to raise sponsorship. At Ditch the Label, we’re all about the digital, but we know that a digital detox can sometimes give people a much-needed break from social media. Whether it’s for a day, or for a whole week, it’s a great way to raise money.
Hold a pop-up shop – refresh your wardrobe and raise money. Ask everyone to have a clear-out and donate their once loved items to a pop-up clothes shop. Give your favourite old clothes the chance to be loved again – and raise money for us in the process.
Keep it classic – the most common fundraisers can be the most successful. For example, a non-uniform day and a cake sale are really easy and simple ways to get your school involved in fundraising.
If you’re not looking for full lesson plans or assemblies, here are a selection of other activities which you could use this week.
1. Help students understand the hidden part of bullying (30 mins)
We know from our extensive work with young people that nobody is ever born with an intent to bully others. Bullying is often a behaviour that is used to cope with a traumatic and stressful situation – it could be that the student is having a difficult time at home or is being bullied themselves elsewhere. Those who bully tend to have low self-esteem and confidence issues and just want to be accepted. We would never call anybody a ‘bully’ because it certainly isn’t their identity, it is just a behaviour that needs to change.
We’ve produced an emotional video to encourage students to think differently about bullying and to build their understanding as to some common reasons why people bully. Start the activity by showing the video and follow it with a discussion about the key themes in the video, opening up to the bigger picture: exploring key reasons why people bully others. – Click here for the video – Click here for more reasons why people bully others
2. Use Ditch the Label statistics in a quiz (30 mins)
Each year, we produce some of the most comprehensive research papers surrounding the issue of bullying and related factors. This activity is designed to help students understand the landscape of bullying and to encourage them to speak up about issues that are bothering them.
The activity should take approximately 30 minutes, which includes a discussion of the results afterwards. – Click here for the question sheet – Click here for the answer sheet
Alternatively, you can direct your students to our research area, they can pick a research paper and create their own quiz based on the statistics in their chosen report.
3. Create a poster, using less than 140 characters (30 mins)
This activity works best in conjunction with a starter activity – such as the Ditch the Label Quiz, this is because it will equip students with a better understanding of bullying and will act as an icebreaker and will fuel inspiration. Students are given the task of designing a new anti-bullying poster for your school. The catch? They are not allowed to use more than 140 characters on their poster, so they need to choose their words wisely. This can be done either in pairs or as a group task.
This activity can also be run as a school/college-wide competition with the winning entry being produced and displayed around the school. – Examples of posters
4. Teach students to reprogram their stress (50 mins)
Stress is the number 1 killer and is something that troubles us all. We know that bullying massively increases the amount of stress young people face, which can go on to impact grade performance, health and general moods. We have developed a tool to help students rationalise and reduce stress in a simple, digestible way.
This task should be done in pairs only. Each person should need approximately 15-20 minutes to talk about things that are bothering them, and with the help of their partner – better rationalise and deal with those issues. With time to complete the entire task, introduction and evaluation afterwards – this task would typically take 50 minutes. – Click here to download instructions and the packs
5. Take part in The Annual Bullying Survey (20 mins)
Each year, we work with schools and colleges across the country to help them better understand the landscape and extent of bullying within their environment. We produce The Annual Bullying Survey, which is the most comprehensive annual benchmark of bullying in the UK.
The survey is conducted online and will survey students on their experiences of bullying, whilst exploring their wider social lives, experiences and attitudes. Taking part is completely free and it takes students approximately 20 minutes to complete the survey. – Click here to find out more information
6. Use role-play (30 mins)
This activity works particularly well in conjunction with activity 1 and could be used as a tool to further explore the reasons why people bully others.
Task students to work in small groups to role-play different bullying-related scenarios and then invite the rest of the class to give their feedback and advice on how to deal with the situations. Examples include:
Example 1: Student A is sending Student B abuse on Instagram. Student C sees the abuse but isn’t really sure what to do. The issue continues in school when Student A encourages Student C to say nasty things to Student B.
Example 2: Student A is having a difficult time at home – their parents are arguing a lot and their pet just passed away. In response, Student A feels angry and has nobody to talk to. They take their anger out on Student B and is disruptive in class. Student C, who is a friend of Student A witnesses everything. What could they do to help?
7. Create a list of top tips (30 mins)
This activity works particularly well in conjunction with activities 1 and 2. Ask students to work in pairs or small groups to come up with their top 10 tips on how to overcome bullying. Ask the students to share their tips with the rest of the class.
You will find that there will be a lot of repetition and overlap, so as the facilitator, note down the top 10 most commonly used tips and then use them to produce a classroom charter.
Join our Community
We have a growing online community where young people can anonymously log in and share their problems. On the Ditch the Label community there are opportunities for people to speak to and share advice amongst themselves as well as speaking directly with a trained digital mentor.
The service is absolutely free and operates as a judgement-free zone.
Why not spend the last 10 mins of your lesson encouraging your students to take a look around?
We’ve partnered with Simple who’ve teamed up with Little Mix to take a stand against online hate and bullying, wipe away unkind words and empower everyone to #ChooseKindness. We caught up with Little Mix about the campaign and their experiences with online hate.
DTL: Obviously, you guys get a lot of crap in the press about what you wear and your message, have you found the same online?
Perrie – ‘It’s always online. The majority of the stick that we get comes from social media, from people behind their computer screens, their phone screens. In the comments section of articles and stuff, it’s just all the time.’
DTL: Who’s got the best clapbacks to that kind of stuff?
Leigh-Anne – ‘Jade definitely! She always knows what to say!’
DTL: A lot of young people deal with online abuse every day – what would you say to them?
Perrie – ‘It’s really hard because when people are being cruel online, it’s hard to deal with. When you are not that kind of person and someone is acting that way, you just don’t know why someone would want to say something nasty or cruel. You just have to stay confident in yourself, and maybe try to talk to someone close who will listen to you.’
DTL: Did you ever used to look at negative comments online about yourselves?
Jade – ‘Oh yeah. I think we’ve all been guilty of looking at the comments, and I think at one point we used to obsess over it, and that’s obviously a really unhealthy way to live your life. It’s how you start to get more insecure about yourself, and over the years we’ve really learnt how to not let that negativity in, and how bad that was for us. It’s now kind of out of sight, out of mind – we try not to read it any more. It’s great that Instagram lets you block words and things you don’t want to see. It helps us surround ourselves with much more positive stuff.’
DTL: The photoshoot you guys did for ‘Strip’ deals with a lot of this – what would you say is the worst thing anyone has ever said to you that you remember?
Leigh Anne – ‘I think for me if anyone has ever said ‘you are not good enough’ or has questioned my ability. Like if you do a bum note and people comment on that, or you miss a dance move. It happens! But it does really stick in my mind because it’s just questioning if you are good at what you do.’
DTL: Recently, you guys have started to talk about your struggles with mental health – what made you want to start talking about it?
Perrie – ‘I think it’s because we’re in a good place right now, and when you are in a good headspace, you can talk about these things a little easier. Hopefully, it will just help someone else out there who has gone through the same thing.’
DTL: Why is talking about it so important? How can we all start talking about it more?
Jade – ‘I think the more you talk about it, the more everyone does, it starts to normalise it. It becomes a less taboo subject to talk about and in doing so, helps a lot of people. I think for a lot of time, mental health wasn’t really spoken about enough, and could escalate because no one spoke about it.
Jesy – ‘Yeah and I think the more you talk about it, it’s like a weight being lifted off your shoulders. I think especially with social media, we have this huge platform which we want to use to talk about this kind of stuff and be positive. I guess we hope it would help combat some of the negativity online as well.’
DTL: Do you think the stuff you’ve had to deal with online has contributed to this?
Jade – ‘I think one of the main reasons I wanted to talk about it more is, you come out the other side of dealing with this stuff, and when you’re in a better place you want to. Also I think we are being listened to more, and people are starting to take notice and understand how much of an impact big artists can have, and we hope it can only help.’
DTL: What do you think can or should be done to deal with online abuse? How can we make the internet a more positive place?
Perrie – ‘In real life, rather than online, if you see somebody in the street, you’d be more likely to compliment them than scream at them. We think a compliment goes a long way. We just believe in making people feel good about themselves. Instead of tearing somebody down and throwing negative stuff at them 24/7; pick them up and make them feel amazing! It’s the same online, reach out to people and let them know how great you think they are instead of being negative.’
Leigh Anne – ‘More needs to be done by other people to combat it too. Like there should be more moderation from platforms and stuff. And maybe bigger consequences for people that do it often, because the consequences for those that go through it can be huge, the biggest.’
Jade – ‘Yeah the effect that it has on people’s mental health can be massive, and there seems like there isn’t enough being done by everyone at the moment to stop it from happening.
DTL: What would you say to someone who posts the negative stuff online?
Jade – ‘The majority of the time, the people are spreading hate online have a lot of issues themselves in their personal lives. It takes a lot of energy to go out of your way to be awful to somebody else, so obviously the root of that is them feeling crap about themselves. So, they need to talk to someone, get some help, find a way of channelling all that energy into something positive.
Jesy – ‘It’s so much easier to be kind’.
DTL: What do you think they can learn from the #choosekindness campaign?
Perrie – ‘I think, just be kind. That’s the vibe. I don’t think a troll really realises what impact they have on people when they say something nasty, even if it’s in passing for them. The impact of it really has to be understood, and the campaign will hopefully do that, and empower people to be kinder.’
DTL: In the spirit of #choosekindess, what’s the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you?
Leigh-Anne – ‘The kindest thing, for me, would be the girls and how they are such a positive support system in my life. When I come to work, I know I have three friends to come to. That’s a really nice feeling.’
Watch how Little Mix wipe away unkind words and check out the video from the #ChooseKindness campaign below
We’ve teamed up with Simple who have teamed up with Little Mix to tackle online hate. For more information on #ChooseKindness, click here.
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