Plea made to teachers and parents for views on bullying in Scottish Borders

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school staff and parents/carers have until Friday to respond to a group of young people gathering evidence about bullying.

The views of adults are being sought by the Scottish Borders Youth Commission on Bullying which was set up by the local council last summer.

A survey of 2010 showed that four out of 10 secondary school pupils in the region were concerned about bullying, and nearly one in five felt there was no adult in their school they could talk to about such intimidation.

In addition, it emerged at the end of that year that five secondary students had been disciplined for “sexting” – the distribution of sexual images of themselves or others via mobile phones – a practice often associated with blackmailing and bullying.

The council responded by setting up the commission: a group of 12 youngsters aged 14-23 who were chosen after a rigorous selection day at Borders College and then given two full days of training and induction.

The commission is due to present a full report of its findings to the council this summer so that elected members can come up with a new evidence-based policy for preventing and managing bullying behaviour.

But a key to the commission’s research is gathering evidence of incidents of bullying, and its impact on victims and perpetrators from teachers and the parents of school-aged children.

And each of these groups is being asked to complete an online questionnaire which is available on the SBC website.

“The surveys are short and should take no longer than five minutes to complete,” said a spokesperson for the commission.