It is important to remember that bullying behaviour doesn’t have to happen face to face, but can happen through other mediums as well. If you are concerned about your child being affected by bullying behaviour, it is important to ensure that they understand that bullying does not just have to happen at school and if it does happen to them, regardless of where they are, they should always remember to tell someone about it.
For those who display bullying behaviour, the school bus is an ideal location to pick on someone. The hectic rush of activity before boarding the bus makes it harder for some ‘bullying tactics’ to be spotted and when on the bus, the only adult may be the driver who has to concentrate on operating the vehicle safely.
Many children fear they will be bullied on the school bus, especially if they are bullied at school. Journeys are unsupervised and those who bully others thrive on this. The person they are picking on has no escape. If they get off the bus, there may not be another one for some time and this could make them late for school or returning home.
If your child is being bullied on the bus, encourage them to sit on the left hand side of the bus (that way the driver can see them) near the driver, or if the bus is a public bus, maybe they could sit near an adult. If possible, maybe they could pair up with a friend who is on the same bus. If your child is bullied on the school bus, make a complaint to the school and copy the letter to the bus company.
There are imminent dangers of bullying on the school bus, which can affect other students, innocent bystanders, pedestrians and other drivers. Bus drivers have to stay focused on the road. Their job is to get the students to school and home, quickly and safely. Any distractions can prevent or delay this from happening. When drivers hear a scream or a plea for help, the drivers’ first instinct is to look up at the mirror and try to pinpoint a problem. When the drivers take their eyes off the road, even for a second, an accident can occur. It does not take but a split second for a traffic accident to take place.
Many young people attend a youth, sports or music group. If your child expresses an interest to join a group, ensure the organisation has an anti-bullying policy, outlining what support is available to young people who wish to report an incident of bullying behaviour. If your child tells you they have been bullied whilst at the group, contact the Youth Worker/Organiser immediately and follow the procedure highlighted above in the
Although schools are not legally responsible for bullying behaviour that takes place outside of the school, under the Education and Inspection Act 2006 a school’s behaviour policy can include, as far as is reasonable, measures to regulate behaviour outside school premises when pupils are not in the charge or control of members of staff. If the person displaying bullying behaviour is wearing a school uniform, you can make the relevant school aware of what happened and where it took place.
Contact your local Police station. The Police, including, where appropriate the British Transport Police, are the lead agency for dealing with crime and anti-social behaviour in the streets and on transport. They work with local authority community teams to help deal with bullying behaviour on journeys and in the community.