In a poll conducted for anti-bullying week, over a quarter of UK children said they had quit an activity they enjoyed for fear of bullying.
Almost half admitted to playing down their talents in class and one in five girls said they deliberately underachieved in maths to avoid nasty comments.
The survey involved 1,042 children aged between 11 and 16. The results suggest bullying could lead to a rise in children failing exams, avoiding extra-curricular activities, dropping out of sport and avoiding the subjects they secretly enjoy.
Fear of bullying caused 11% of children to stop singing, 8% to stop drama, 9% to quit dancing and 8% to give up sport.
Ross Hendry, chair of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, said: “It’s unacceptable that rather than celebrate their talent, [children] feel that they have to hide their gifts, purposely underachieve in crucial subjects and miss out on things they enjoy because of bullying.”
Children were questioned online between August and October 2012.
These findings coincide with anti-bullying week, which aims to highlight the problem of bullying and offer advice for both parents and children on how to deal with it.
Bullies need to be identified and dealt with. If they are not, their victims possibly face a limited future. It is important to give victims of bullying the support they need, as well as the confidence to know that it is not their shortcomings that warrant review, but their bully’s.
To find out how counselling can help, please visit our page on Bullying.
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