Joanna Sugden, London Times, June 26, 2008
White children are much more likely to be bullied than any other ethnic group—reversing racial stereotypes surrounding playground abuse, Government research indicates.
Two thirds of children from white families say they had been bullied in the last three years but less than half of children of Indian origin make the same assertion.
Anti-bullying campaigners say white children are now in the minority in some areas raising their chances of being bullied.
Claude Knights, director of anti-bullying charity Kidscape, said:”More and more we’re hearing that in some cities it isn’t the usual isolation of ethnic groups, suddenly we have got statistics that show we have got a larger number of white young people being bullied.
“In some cities there’s a dislocation of certain white children. So many cultures around them are being celebrated but where’s their place? There’s been such an attempt that you don’t forget what has come in to the system that what was there already has been forgotten.” This isolation makes children feel “different” she said, and was likely to lead to them being bullied.
Six in ten children of black Caribbean origin said they had experienced bullying in the last three years, according to research into 16-year-olds by the Department for Children Schools and Families(DCSF). The results indicated that 58 per cent of children from Pakistani backgrounds and 54 per cent of those with Bangladeshi roots had been victims of bullies.
Louise Burfitt-Dons, founder of the charity Act Against Bullying, which cut ties with Jade Goody after allegations of racist bullying against Indian actress Shilpa Shetty on Big Brother, said: “Normally all you hear about is bullying with racial groups being discriminated against.
“Whites are becoming more aggressive than they used to be as a result of trying to intergrate into a new society norm that is so aggressive. They have changed the way they behave in order to survive.”
The study also found that boys are just as likely to be bullied as girls but as many as eight in ten children with a disability that affects their school life said they had suffered at the hands of bullies in the last three years.
A spokesperson for the DCSF said: “We have given teachers and heads the powers and support they need to prevent and tackle bullying. But bullying is a challenge we must all face up to and we need the support of teachers, heads, parents, young people and bystanders. It is important that children and young people who experience bullying speak out and do not suffer in silence.”