Monday, 23 February 2009

Panorama - Kids Behaving Badly

Full Article:

When parents drop their children at the school gates they do so in the trust that they will be safe until home time. But are they?
We know that bullying, be it verbal or physical, happens in our schools and in its worst forms can ruin lives. The key to ending the torment is speaking out, but shame and fear often makes this difficult to do.
And, as Panorama reports in Kids Behaving Badly, children are being subjected to a type of bullying which makes it even harder to speak out - sexual bullying.
This can be anything from sexualised name-calling to spreading rumours about someone's sexual behaviour, to criminal offences such as assault and rape.
Five-year-olds expelled
Michele Elliott from Kidscape, the first UK charity established specifically to prevent bullying and child sexual abuse, says it has seen a dramatic rise in the problem:
'Certainly over the last four or five years on the Kidscape helpline we used to get maybe one or two calls a year about sexual bullying, but now we are getting two or three calls a week,' she said.
The most recent government figures show that in 2006-07 there were 3,500 fixed period exclusions and 140 expulsions from schools in England for sexual misconduct - anything from explicit graffiti to serious sexual assault, even rape.

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