Children 'want adults to show more respect for each other'

By agency reporter
November 12, 2018

Children want adults to show more respect for each other, as worrying numbers of 11 to 16 year-olds witness adults setting a bad example by bullying and disrespecting each other.

The results of a poll, published by the Anti-Bullying Alliance ahead of Anti-Bullying Week  (12-16 November 2018), suggest that over four in 10 children (41 per cent) have seen adults bullying each other during the last six months, with an even greater number (60 per cent) witnessing grown-ups being disrespectful to other adults.

Children said they saw much of the adult bullying take place face-to-face (21 per cent), but had also come across it online (18 per cent) or in the media (20 per cent).

More than four in five of the children polled (87 per cent) also reported having seen children bullying each other. The majority (76 per cent) had seen this happen at school, with a third (34 per cent) seeing it online and a quarter (27 per cent) seeing it in their communities.

The results come as children continue to suffer on the receiving end of hurtful behaviour. Nearly half of the children surveyed (45 per cent) said they had been bullied face to face at least once during the last six months, with over a third (34 per cent) saying they had been bullied online over the same period. Worryingly, the equivalent of one child in every classroom (four per cent) said they had been bullied face-to-face or online every day over the last six months.

However, nearly all children surveyed (98 per cent) said that showing respect to each other is important and that it is possible to be respectful even if you disagree with someone else. Ninety-seven per cent said adults should set a good example and show more respect for each other.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance, with the continued support of SafeToNet, is encouraging everyone to ‘Choose Respect’ during Anti-Bullying Week. The campaign, expected to be supported in approximately three-quarters of schools in England, takes place from 12 to 16 November.

Martha Evans, Director of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, said: "Children who experience bullying are at higher risk of experiencing a range of mental health issues and leaving school with fewer qualifications. The impact of bullying can last well in to adulthood. We need children to learn that we don’t have to be best friends with each other or always agree with each other but this is never an excuse for bullying or hurtful behaviour. We must always choose respect.  We are urging adults to role model the ‘choose respect’ message, and help us stop bullying in schools to prevent it from affecting so many children’s lives."

Richard Pursey, CEO of SafeToNet, said: "SafeToNet is delighted to once again support Anti-Bullying Week. We’re passionate about safeguarding children’s online experience from all kinds of cyber abuse, while allowing them to enjoy all of the positive benefits that the internet and social media provide. Bullying, whether online or offline, can have a damaging effect on young people’s lives and we all need to do everything we can to choose and show respect."

The research was conducted by Censuswide with 1,001 children aged 11-16 in England between 17 October 2018 and 22 October 2018. 

* More information on Anti-Bullying Week 2018: Choose Respect here

* SafeToNet

* National Children's Bureau


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