Ricky and Leah talk to children about their experiences of bullying in front of an audience of 100 children. They ask questions about how the problem should be tackled.
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Hello and welcome to this very special programme.
-And I'm Leah.
Now, we're holding a debate and this is your chance
to have your say on one of the biggest issues
that affects your lives - bullying.
We know it's an issue that lots of you worry about.
It was something that I struggled with when I was younger,
so, over the next 15 minutes, we'll be sharing stories
and asking some big questions.
This is Bullying - The Newsround Debate.
A very, very warm welcome to you at home and to everyone here today.
We've got 100 children with us right now to try and help us
work out the best way to stop bullying.
Yes, you have an important job today to vote on some big questions.
So, let's kick off, then.
The first question, have you ever been bullied?
Grab your pads and vote now.
So, the results are in, let's take a look.
In this room, out of 100 of you,
72% of you said
you had been bullied.
OK. So, that means 28% of you
haven't been bullied in this room.
I'm quite surprised by that.
It's a big number, isn't it?
Quite a lot of people in this room are admitting to being bullied.
OK, but the most important question and why we're here today
is the vote on, is it more important to punish or help a bully?
But we'll be voting on that at the end of this debate,
but to help us find a decision,
we will be hearing from two girls
who have dealt with their bullies in a very different way.
Yeah, let's hear from one of those girls right now.
Her name is Kia, she's 14 years old
and she says she wasn't happy
with the way her bullying was handled.
Let's hear her story.
I think bullies should be punished,
because I was bullied lots at school and it made me feel
everyone hated me.
17 girls gathered round me in a big circle.
She kicked me, she punched me, I was petrified.
'No-one told her to stop.
'They just stood there chanting her on.'
They should have been punished as well,
because people actually videoed it on their phone.
I felt so worthless
'that people was watching me
'get attacked like I was.
'The video was on social media, it's gone all over the world.
'Every time someone put the video up, it made me feel worse and worse.
'I had to block loads of people.
'They wasn't backing me up saying, "She should have been punished."
'It was just, like, "Lol" and, "She got what she deserved."
'It upsets me that she's still not said sorry.'
The punishment for my bully was three days' exclusion.
'The police had been round.'
I feel like I'm the one that's being punished,
because I've had to move schools, not her.
I think if she got expelled, she would have had to move
'to a different school and I think bullies need to be punished.'
So that was Kia's story.
Very brave to share that with us. Kia's here today.
I know you've got some questions that you want to put to our experts.
But I'll quickly introduce them to everybody.
We have David Warburton,
a politician who looks at bullying
and then you report that back to the Government
and advise them how to tackle the issue.
-You also used to be a teacher.
-I did, that's right.
We're also going to be talking to top policewoman Olivia Pinkney,
who looks at serious issues that affect children
and helps with internet safety too.
Thank you very much for coming in today.
So, Kia, over to you with your questions.
Why are bullies allowed to stay at school?
I think it depends what they've done and, I think, in your case
having a three-day suspension wasn't really very much at all,
and am I right in thinking
that you had to leave the school in the end?
-Which doesn't seem in any way fair, does it?
Because you were the victim twice over.
But I do think that it should be about helping them as well,
not just about punishing them.
We've got to see why they did what they did
and try to persuade them not to do it again.
Why can't the police get involved
when bullying happens on school grounds?
The police are always here to look after people in need,
but there are also lots of other people who can better help.
The most important thing is that it stops
and the most important thing is that the person who's harmed by it
gets the support and help so that it does stop.
And sometimes the police are just at the most extreme end of that,
if you like, and there are many, many better people.
Sometimes that's someone in school, sometimes that's a parent or carer
who you know really well who are much better placed
to help than the police.
Thank you very much, Olivia and David,
we'll be coming back to you throughout this show.
Ricky, over to you.
Yes, I know the audience here
have got lots of questions and opinions.
I'm going to start with you.
What's your name and how old are you?
I'm Daniel and I'm 11 years old.
Daniel, I want to know from you, what do you think,
do you think bullies should be helped or should they be punished?
I think they should be punished, because what they're doing is wrong
and they need to learn that what they're doing
can have serious consequences on somebody else's life.
You've got a strong opinion, haven't you?
And in what way do you think they should be punished?
I think they should be deprived from going to certain areas
and have privileges taken away from them.
And have you been affected by bullying?
Yes, I've been affected for about three years.
OK, all right, and, also, I'm going to be talking to Celee now.
-Tell us how old you are.
-I am nine years old.
Do you think bullies should be helped or should they be punished?
I think they should be helped and punished, because first they
need to understand what they've done and how it can hurt the other
person, how it can make a consequence on someone else's
life and what the consequences are on them.
And then if they keep on doing it, then they should be punished.
Some great opinions, thanks very much, guys.
Right, now, let's hear from Sundas, who's with me right now,
she's 15 and found another way to deal with her bullies.
She believes that they should be helped. Let's find out why.
I think that the bullies shouldn't be punished, they should be helped,
'because when I was being bullied,
'I got really scared.
'I know how painful it is, but'
it's the same for the bullies too.
They might have been doing it for a reason, they
'said that they didn't like me,'
they felt stupid when I was in the class with them.
'I was scared to tell anyone.
'I thought I could leave my bullies behind, but I was wrong.'
They found me on social media, they said to me
that they didn't like me, they didn't want me to come to school,
they would push me down the stairs, they just wanted to see me unhappy.
I didn't have any friends, I was alone.
I was just totally terrified.
My teacher suggested me that I should go and meet the bullies
face-to-face, so that I could tell them that they hurt me so much.
I told them that it's making me upset, don't do it.
And they said that they were sorry about what they did,
they were jealous of me, they wanted revenge.
They were bullied in the past in their primary schools.
'I felt good that they realised what their mistake was.'
All of their lives they would regret it,
so it's better not to punish them, just help them.
Again, Sundas, thank you very much for sharing your story.
I suppose it wasn't really easy coming face-to-face
with your bully.
I know you've got a couple of questions too.
Now's your chance.
Why can't every kid meet their bully face-to-face the way I got to?
I think that what happened to you was fantastic.
You must have had a very good teacher there.
And I wish that could always happen.
If they can understand that there's somebody there behind, getting hurt,
then very often you find that they're unhappy or they've been
bullied in the past and that's why they're doing it,
so meeting and talking to them can really sort things out.
Is there not a way of making sure that all schools do this, though?
I think that we need to start with teacher training.
They only get a very small amount of time spent on this subject
out of all their years of training and I think we need to bump that up.
And that's the kind of thing I'd like to be helping with.
Should kids like me be told how to block or report bullying online?
Anything that happens online can feel really painful, can't it?
It can get right to the heart of your private space.
And the social media companies do have buttons,
don't they, for blocking?
But what I'd always say is always tell an adult that you trust.
That's where the help can really come and can take away
-a lot of the power from the bullies.
-Thank you very much.
Time to find out what the audience think. What about you?
My name is Rebecca, I'm 12.
And I think the bullies should be helped,
because most bullies take out their anger on other people
and their jealousy on other people, which would lead to the bullying.
When we talk about punish,
it does sound like such a harsh word,
what types of things are you thinking about?
If you tell the child not to do something,
otherwise they would be punished,
they won't not do it, because they think it's wrong,
but they would do it because they're afraid of being punished.
OK, very interesting stuff there. Anyone else?
What about you, what's your name?
My name is Charles and I think bullies should be helped,
because they may be unhappy at home,
then they should get help at school.
But that still doesn't give them a right or an excuse
to upset other people.
OK, so really split at the moment, Ricky.
This is your last chance, everyone, to grill our guests,
David and Olivia.
And, Kia, I just want to come back to you,
because the video of your bullying, it went up online,
around the world, really fast and I know you have a question.
Why couldn't the video be taken down sooner?
A lot of that relies upon the social media companies
and their pace and speed they're able to do that
and willing to do that, actually,
so I think you're right to ask that question and to keep asking it.
How can we improve that, though?
I think it's something that if everyone shouts about it
and that will create the momentum for the companies
to change their minds.
There's a huge amount of money in social media companies
and they do need to know that the public want them to behave
in a certain way and this is a really great place to start.
Some of the kids who like these nasty comments or who share
these bullying videos online,
does that mean that they are also bullies?
Daniel, I want to ask you that.
I know that a lot of people do do that and I think they are like
bullies, basically, because they're sharing on something that's
happened in real life and it's not very nice to know that
everyone around the world might see your issues.
And, Celee, what do you think about this?
Yes, I definitely think it makes you a bully,
because that's basically posting something.
If you were the one who is actually bullying the person physically
or recording that, that's basically a different type of bullying,
which is cyber bullying, and I think that's worse.
Let's talk about cyber bullying in more detail.
David, how can we prevent them from doing it in the first place?
We need to talk to kids when they're very young and we need to say
to them, "This is wrong behaviour," that there is a victim,
and that starts with personal and social education at school
that should cover this regularly, it should cover this much more
seriously and it doesn't at the moment.
And I also think we need to put pressure on social media companies
to say, "You're responsible for what's up there.
"If somebody's unhappy with it,
"then you've got to think about taking it down."
We did ask several social media companies whether they would like
to take part in today's debate,
but none of them were able to come.
OK, Sundas, I know you've got another question.
Why hasn't every school got the same kind of anti-bullying policies?
Because every city, every school seems to have different
kind of policies.
I wish they all had the same kind of policy as your school had,
but each school, they are independent and they want to have
their own policies,
but what we need to do is help them and help the teachers, help the
head teachers to understand the better ways that they could be doing
things if they're not already doing them in those ways.
So it's about educating teachers
as much as it is educating children.
So, over in this corner, Olivia,
I know there's an important question that Charles wants to ask you.
-Fire away, Charles.
-So, why is bullying not a crime?
-Should cyber bullying be a crime?
-Bullying can be a crime.
But what's important is the behaviour is wrong
and I don't like that behaviour any more than you do
and not everything we don't like is a crime.
So, whether it's a crime or not isn't really the point.
What does matter is the behaviour and the harm it causes
and getting that behaviour to stop.
Now, all week on the Newsround website,
people have been sending in their comments about this issue.
Louis in Cornwall thinks that...
Ben, who's 12, he says...
Now, though, it's the time we've all been waiting for,
it's time to vote again.
We've heard both sides of the story, haven't we?
So, is it more important to punish or help a bully?
And the results are in,
let's take a look,
so 30% of you in this room
think bullies should be punished.
OK, so that means 70% of you
think that bullies need help.
So, only a few of you in here think they should be punished.
Let's hear from you, Olivia, what do you make of that?
I think people in this room are very sensible,
I think they've got a really good grasp
of what is a really difficult subject.
What's important if someone's bullied is they get help.
Often there's something that makes a bully behave as they do,
so if that can be stopped and they can be given the help they want,
then they'll stop doing it forever, which would be great.
So understanding the bully a bit more.
-David, what about you?
-It's a bit of both, isn't it?
We should punish the people for doing wrong,
but we should teach them how to do right, and that's what...
I think that's exactly what the results show.
Thank you very much, David.
Now, guys, you were not the only ones taking part in a vote today.
For the past week, 2,400 children across the country
were voting on the CBBC website and, I guess,
it gives us a rough idea of what children across the country
might be feeling about this,
and we can tell you that the votes, they're in.
So, 47% said bullies should be punished.
OK, so that means that 53% of voters on the CBBC website
thought that bullies should be helped.
So, that's very interesting, that's just over half of the people
who think they should receive help.
So, let's find out what the audience think.
Over here, is there anyone...? How about you?
I think bullies should be helped,
as they might be having problems of their own at home.
It might not be their fault, they might just be stressed
and they want to take it out on someone else.
But just because they've got problems of their own,
they shouldn't just be let off the hook,
I think they should be punished as well, but also helped.
Thank you so much.
And, also, thanks to Sundas and Kia for sharing.
You've been very brave to share your stories
and everyone here for helping us tackle an issue
we know that really matters to all of you.
Yes, and we've looked at just some ways to tackle bullying
in the near future.
If you're a bully and you've been watching this,
you might think twice about your actions.
If you're being bullied, then make sure you speak up,
because the quicker you speak up, the quicker it can be sorted out.
Thanks to everyone in this room today and thanks for watching.
-Thanks for watching.
Ricky and Leah talk to children about their experiences of bullying in front of an audience of 100 children. They ask questions about how the problem should be tackled by schools, the government and social media companies. They debate whether bullies should be punished or helped, and there is an interactive vote and questions from the Newsround audience.
Also, there will be tips and advice from Paralympic athlete and CBBC Ambassador for Anti-Bullying Week, Dame Sarah Storey.