Sylvia Lancaster, mother of murdered teenager Sophie, spoke to students about the importance of celebrating differences in an emotional assembly as part of our recent Year 9 Citizenship Day.
Sophie was killed in 2007 by a group of youths because of the way that she dressed. Sylvia now heads the Sophie Lancaster Foundation and actively campaigns for tolerance, diversity and more protection for sub cultures against hate crime.
The foundation has many high profile supporters including patron Julie Hesmondhalgh, This Is England actress Vicky McClure and rock star Courtney Love who all wear the S.O.P.H.I.E. wristbands (Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred & Intolerance Everywhere).
Students also watched the animated short film ‘Dark Angel’ based on the night that Sophie and her boyfriend were attacked in Stubbylee Park in Bacup before taking part in other workshops that tackled hate crime, LGBT awareness and religious tolerance.
Assistant Headteacher Iffat Ali said: “The students were all deeply moved by Sylvia’s story and we are extremely grateful to her for coming into school to share it with us.
“Citizenship days like this give our students the chance to look at life from various different perspectives. This is essential for their social, spiritual, moral and cultural development.”
There are a great many websites dedicated to providing advice and assistance to people who are victims of bullying. You may find some of the following useful to read – click on the logo to go to the relevant site. Remember that you can always email email@example.com for assistance.
The Anti-Bullying Alliance brings together more than 65 organisations with the aim of reducing bullying and creating safer environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn.
Beatbullying is the leading bullying prevention charity in the UK and provides anti-bullying resources, information, advice and support for young people, parents and professionals affected by bullying.
Childnet International – the UK’s safer internet centre.
The statutory duty on schools to promote good behaviour is detailed in the Education and Inspections Act 2006, section 89.
Educational Action Challenging Homophobia (EACH) is a charity and training agency helping people and organisations affected by homophobia. The website gives guidance, contact details and a freephone helpline.
Kidscape is a charity working UK-wide to keep children safe from bullying and sexual abuse.
Mencap is a learning disability charity that provides information and support to children and adults with a learning disability, and to their families and carers.
Restorative processes bring those harmed by crime or conflict, and those responsible for the harm, into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward. The Restorative Justice Council provides quality assurance and the national voice for the field of restorative practice.
Schools Out aims to provide both a formal and informal support network for all people who want to raise the issue of homophobia, transphobia and heterosexism in education; to campaign on lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans issues as they affect education and those in education; and to research, debate and stimulate curriculum development on LGBT issues.
Stonewall works with a whole range of agencies to address the needs of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in the wider community. Our Diversity Champions programme offers advice and support to over 600 organisations including IBM, Barclays, Barnardos, DCLG and the Royal Navy.
Stonewall’s Education for All campaign, launched in January 2005, helps tackle homophobia and homophobic bullying in schools and works with a wide coalition of groups.
The Equality Act 2010 is the law which bans unfair treatment and helps achieve equal opportunities in the workplace and in wider society.
The Advisory Centre for Education is a registered charity, independent of central or local government, giving free advice and support to parents of children in state schools.
The Anti-Bullying Network was established by the Scottish Executive. There are useful links and reviews for teachers, parents and pupils on bullying and related issues.
Bully OnLine offers information for teachers, children and schools which details the legal procedures available. This site also lists support groups for teachers.
BullyingUK offers useful information and links on bullying and related issues for parents, children and teachers.
Childline is primarily a helpline for children, but has useful information and links on bullying. Chips (Childline in Partnership with Schools) encourages schools to support pupils in setting up anti-bullying projects.
The Children’s Society is a children’s charity which wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. They are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including safeguarding children in care and young runaways. They give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers.
Through their campaigns and research, they seek to influence policy and perceptions to improve child protection so that young people have a better chance in life.
The Government, in conjunction with Media Smart, have released a booklet to help parents teach their children about body image and understanding the impact that the media has on promoting a healthy body image. That booklet is available below.
If you are being bullied at school and aren’t sure who you can speak to, remember that you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice and support.