Bullying: The Child's View by J.S.La Fontaine

By J.S.La Fontaine

A different "Bullying Line" for colleges began through ChildLine attracted 7000 cell calls from young children. This publication presents an research of those calls, as visible in the course of the eyes of these who've suffered bullying, and indicates methods of tackling this challenge.

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Children's descriptions of bullying challenges the definitions of bullying put forward by adults parents, teachers, educationalists. Children. La Fontaine claims, understand bullying in terms of the effects it has on them, and consequently they class a far wider range of behaviour as bullying. The report sums up children's experience of bullying as a message of rejection and hostility, causing feelings of isolation and powerlessness. children do not feel that bullying is an inevitable part of growing up'.

Hammond calls victims of bullying 'reluctant communicators' in Roland and Munthe 1989, p142. There are many apparent reasons for this to be found in the bullying literature; they all receive confirmation from the material discussed in this study. Much of their reluctance to tell derives from the ethic of mutual loyalty which is common among children, particularly in the closed community of school. Telling' adults, with the implication that another child will suffer as a result, is a major offence of which children who talked to counsellors on 27 both the Bullying and the Boarding School Lines are all too conscious.

The case material from the Bullying and Boarding School Lines provides evidence that large numbers of children are prepared to talk about being bullied. Yet telling a counsellor on these Lines was rather different from telling a parent or teacher. On these helplines (and on ChildLine) a child can get advice and help without setting in train action which they may not be sure will be helpful. A 28 helpline that is both confidential and anonymous saves the callers the embarrassment of telling someone they know and allows them to keep control of what is happening.

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