Friday, 21 November 2008

CHILDREN BULLIED BECAUSE OF THEIR FAITH

A quarter of children with a religious belief are bullied at school because of their faith, a new survey reveals. The findings prompted BeatBullying, the charity who funded the research, to call on the government to compel schools to record all incidents of faith-based bullying and to fund more extensive research and preventative measures. The study of 1,000 11- to 16-year-olds found that half of them practised their religion, twice the proportion of adults who do. But 20 per cent said their friendships were largely with others who shared the same religious background. Behind incidents of verbal and physical violence, there is a lack of cohesion between different religious communities and not enough support for discussing faith issues with their peers, a Beatbullying spokesperson said.

Sources: The Independent (17/11); Church of England Newspaper (21/11); Baptist Times (20/11)

8 comments:

Granny Annie said...

Very interesting! I seem to remember my childhood being normal BECAUSE I had a church affiliation. The kids that did not weren't necessarily bullied but they were considered more the out-crowd than the in-crowd.

Sally said...

My son Paul was bullied because of his faith, he rode his bike to school and had the tires let down and one day the whole bike was thrown over a hedge. He also had his glasses stolen and lots of minor things.

He stood firm through all of it, even when the school were less than helpful!

Olive Morgan said...

I'm sorry to hear that, Sally. it's a sign of the times we live in, I'm afraid - so very different from the days when Grannie Annie and I went to school. I'm afraid that older members are unaware of this situation, unless they have grandchildren going throught it.

Methodist Preacher said...

You may be interested to know that bullying about faith is commonplace in the workplace - especially if people refuse to work on Sunday or make it clear they don't want to go out and get plastered on a Friday night. But this isn't new. I've often experienced bullying for my faith - sometimes even within the walls of the Methodist Church!

Olive Morgan said...

That may be so, David, but I am older than you and the situation is very different now for children in our secondary schools from when I was young - alas.

see-through faith said...

But 20 per cent said their friendships were largely with others who shared the same religious background.

(This article is I suppose about also those who practice other faiths. The Seiks who wear turbans. The Muslim girls who are not allowed to attend swimming classes etc. The Orthodox Jewish boys who wear their sharmuckle and do not cut their hair. Jewish boys who have been circumcized. Christians who wish to wear a cross as a statement of faith or those who wish to avoid meat etc on religious days.

When I think about it I'm suprised it's as low as this actually. It's so easy as a Christian to be friends with Christians ... (and presumably to be with Muslims if you are a follower of Islam etc) because it's (often) a lot less challenging -and it's easy - easier - to be with like-minded people.

Not that that's how Jesus went about our Father's business ...

I'm not a fan of separation / gregation though I know how tempting it can be ...

Olive Morgan said...

Yes, Lorna, it would include all of those plus one that you missed out - the Christian young people who wear 'What would Jesus do?' bracelets. i still make the point that in my school days it was not at all like that because there were no Sikhs, Muslims, Jewish (or Hindus, like we have in Reading)young people in our schools. This has changed dramatically in my lifetime. A very large former Methodist Church in Reading is now a Hindu Temple, and a smaller former Methodist church is now a Sikh Temple.

Kat said...

I have four sons and have learned that teaching children the golden rule, unfortunatley, always isnt' enough. Self assertiveness skills are essential.

Teachers can help but there are also educational tools so parents will get involved. I found a life skills program for teachers and parents that helps them give chidren self assertiveness skills. http://www.lifeskills4kids.com