YP Letters: Why schools need to try to understand bullies

School bullying is in the spotlight this week. Photo posed by model.
School bullying is in the spotlight this week. Photo posed by model.
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From: Jackie Griffiths, Headteacher, Hipperholme Grammar School.

THIS is Anti-Bullying Week 2018 and, as headteacher of an independent school, I wanted to provide some perspective on how we feel bullying should be addressed; by not only supporting the victim, but by also understanding the bully.

While our priority is to ensure that pupils experiencing bullying have various ways to report the issue and access the support they need, as educators we also need to make every effort to uncover the underlying problems causing the bully’s behaviour.

By addressing the issues which causes the bully to react, we can tackle the problem once and for all as opposed to transposing it.

As we look towards a future where bullying ceases to exist, especially in schools, I believe that by providing one-to-one support for both parties, this will bring us closer to preventing occurrences altogether.

At Hipperholme Grammar School, our current system offers pupils various options to report bullying including drop-in-sessions, approaching a teacher, writing a letter or by encouraging other pupils who are aware of bullying to report this directly to us.

Once the issue has been reported, it is immediately addressed by investigating the allegations. Support is offered and steps are taken to ensure those being bullied are not directly exposed to situations where it can continue.

Taking an extra step, we also work together with the accused to educate them about the life-long negative effects of bullying and talk to them about the way they are feeling and how this is expressed in the way they are treating others.

And we continue to address the subject of bullying throughout the year during assemblies as well as in our Personal, Social and Health Education sessions.

These steps might be a challenging route for some, as when it comes to zero tolerance bullying it’s not always a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, but these ways have been more productive at our school as all of our staff strive to end bullying once and for all.

Farcical plan for EU Army

From: Michael J Robinson, Berry Brow, Huddersfield.

THE French President took the lead last week as the EU’s most delusional leader when he claimed that Europe should have its own Armed Forces in place of Nato.

I started to wonder which country’s top brass would lead this force. Germany’s? Or perhaps the Italians? Or would they use the same system as for the Union’s political leadership and take it in turns? What’s the betting that the Russians, mindful of the Dutch UN peacekeeper’s performance in Srebrenica, would choose the period of Holland’s leadership for an attack? Deary me.

From: Dick Lindley, Altofts, Normanton.

IT is unbelievable and incredibly stupid that the French President should have the temerity to suggest that the EU needs to build an army to protect itself from our closest ally, the United States of America.

I hope President Trump does not think that we, the British, have any part of this palpable EU lunacy.

From: R Hartley, Leeds.

JOHN Turley asks why the Brexiteers don’t respect the result of the 2016 referendum (The Yorkshire Post, November 9) in relation to the Chequers plan. Has he read about it? Can’t he see the implications? Does he really want to be ruled by German and French hegemonies? Is he daft?

The vote, as he correctly writes, was to Leave or Remain with a Government promise to implement the result of the vote which was to Leave – just in case he’s forgotten.

The Chequers plan keeps us tied to the EU without a vote and paying to do so into the bargain. That is not leaving!

From: Tony Armitage, Fulwith Road, Harrogate.

JO Johnson has resigned as Minister of State for Transport and Minister for London because he is worried about something irrevocably stupid happening over Brexit.

I think he can claim the first prize for that in suggesting that a second referendum be held.

Bus ticket 
to failure

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

RIGHTLY, Kirklees councillor Peter McBride insists that Leeds’s past transport failures must not continue (The Yorkshire Post, November 10). I wish we could give him reassurance.

The last 60 years have been one long, predictable failure and the latest “transformation” will involve yet more diesel buses, albeit with wifi as a low-cost nod to the 21st century.

We are advised of a “newly-mooted mass transit system”. Haven’t we heard such mootings before? Hasn’t the biggest failure been the abject, ongoing one of successive Leeds councils, who continue to fail to dragoon the city’s eight MPs into action?

There is a vague HS2 linkage reference to 2033; other than that “yet another bloody talking shop” it seems.

In a recent gathering, transport excluded, the many successes of Leeds were discussed. A visiting Mancunian declared that Leeds was “the Manchester of Yorkshire; but why no Metro tram network?” He meant it well and he did buy the next round!

Money down another hole

From: Mark Burnwood, Carlisle Street, Sheffield

MORE holes being dug outside the old Post Office in Fitzalan Square, Sheffield.

The money being spent on whatever scheme the council is doing here would be more beneficial being spent in communities, on things like professionally staffed libraries and better bus services.