Bullying isn’t a joke – text a teacher

Researchers have found that children who use self-deprecating humour are more likely to be bullied, but a new service is making it easier for victims to report bullying to their teachers.

New research has revealed that children who are victims bullying are more likely to make jokes at their own expense or about their own appearance, the BBC reports.

The study of more than 1,200 11 to 13 year-olds shows that children can use humour to raise their status and show social skills. But when children make fun of themselves it doesn’t make them more popular – instead it undermines their status and self-esteem and makes them more likely to be bullied.

Psychologist Dr. Claire Fox said: “We know that this negative use of humour is a nurtured behaviour, influenced by a child’s social environment rather than genetics. This makes the behaviour easier to change, so we hope the next step for this study is to see whether it is possible to ‘teach’ children how to use humour to enhance their resilience and encourage them not to use negative forms of humour.”

Meanwhile, children who are victims of bullying are now able to text their teachers to report it, according to The Independent. Many children are reluctant to speak out in case they are seen reporting bullying to an adult, but the new service allows them to complain at a distance and they don’t even have to give their name. The scheme, which is being pioneered by Leicester City Council, is also helping schools to identify places where bullying is taking place; in one case, a girl was being bullied on a bus by boys from another school and sent a text. The bullying co-ordinator at her school dealt with it by speaking to the boys’ school and solved the problem.

How do you feel about being texted by your pupils if they’re being bullied? Share your views with us!

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