Muslim abuse rising in schools

Teachers have been warned that bullying prompted by Islamophobia is on the rise in schools across the country.

Schools minister Jim Knight reminded teachers, at a conference, of new ways to deal with bullying through the internet and mobile phones.

This includes the right to ban mobile phones from school classrooms.

Chris Keates of the NASUWT teaching union, who hosted the conference in London, said: “Everyone must play their part in banishing bullying.”

‘Wrecking lives’

She added: “Every day children are tormented and abused by bullies with devastating and often lasting impact on their mental and physical well-being.

“Bullying wrecks lives and more most be done to raise awareness of its prejudiced nature.”

Mr Knight said bullies of any kind should not be tolerated.

He added head teachers had the powers and support needed to prevent and tackle the problem but young people also had to contribute to the anti-bullying effort.

Back in March new guidance requiring schools to deal with faith-based bullying was issued by the Department for Education and Skills for the first time.

And in August the government set out new measures to help schools, parents and pupils tackle the issue of “cyber-bullying”.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance has identified seven types of cyber-bullying, ranging from abusive text messages, e-mails and phone calls to bullying via internet chatrooms, social networking sites and instant messaging.

A recent study suggested up to one-fifth of pupils have experienced some form of cyber-bullying.

The NASUWT conference comes just before anti-bullying week, which will focus on the role of the bystander.

Pupils will be encouraged to speak out if they witness bullying in their school.

The Department for Education and Skills said new measures to stamp out the problem were likely to be unveiled during anti-bullying week.

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Nov. 13, 2006

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This post was last updated: Monday, November 13, 2006 at 3:50 PM, Central European Time (CET)