Bullying stifles kids dreams

According to the latest figures from the ABA, Anti-Bullying Alliance, over 90% of children say they have either been bullied themselves, or seen other being bullied, for being talented or intelligent. The ABA is hosted by the NCB, National Children’s Bureau, and the research has been released to tie in with the start of Anti-Bullying Week.

Their aim this year is to highlight how bullying can stop children from reaching their maximum potential. The report revealed that 27.3% of those aged 11-16 had been forced to give up an activity they really enjoyed due to bullying, and nearly half had played down a talent to avoid being bullied, a figure that rose to 53% amongst the girls questioned.

Despite the popularity of programmes like X-Factor, and Great Britain’s achievements in the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, many children are scared to excel with 11% having stopped singing, 8% drama and 9% dancing. 8% have even quit sport for fear of being bullied.

Achievement in crucial academic subjects is also being stifled with 1 in 10 (12%) children saying they have played down their ability in science. Maths is also taking a hit, with almost 1 in 5 girls (18.8%) and more than 1 in 10 boys (11.4%) deliberately underachieving to evade bullying.

Ross Hendry, Chair of the Anti-Bullying Alliance says the results of the survey are very worrying: “We know that bullying can lead to children missing school, failing exams, dropping out of sport, avoiding extra-curricular activities and limiting their life choices.  It’s  unacceptable that rather than celebrate their talent, they feel that they have to hide their gifts, purposely underachieve in crucial subjects and miss out on things they enjoy because of bullying.

“Government should take note. At a time when we need more young people to study maths and science at college and university,  and to drive the future of our economy, they’re actually cowering away from fear of being bullied.

“Bullying is holding our children back and stifling their future. Let’s make a stand together this Anti-Bullying Week and make it clear that bullying is unacceptable and it must be tackled. We really are better without bullying.”

ABA is hosted by the leading children’s charity NCB, it brings together organisations and individuals  who are committed to tackling bullying. This year’s Anti-Bullying Week theme is ‘We’re Better Without Bullying’ and ABA is asking for your help to raise awareness and to tackle bullying in our schools and communities.

Make a donation at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AntiBullyingAlliance, show your support on Facebook,www.facebook.com/antibullying alliance or Twitter, @abaonline or join the ABA at www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk