I think all who have been bullied need to remember that they have rights. It is time to make a stand and defend those rights.
Unicef project in hundreds of UK schools helps to foster calmer classrooms and a reduction in bullying and truancy
The Guardian | Tuesday 2 November 2010
Teaching children about their human rights can reduce bullying and exclusions, improve relations with teachers and create a calmer atmosphere for learning, according to an academic study published today.
A Unicef UK project running in more than 1,000 schools across Britain teaches pupils about their rights and responsibilities, and encourages them to draw up charters for classroom behaviour.
The first evaluation of the project since its launch in 2004 has found that its introduction was accompanied by a fall in truancy and an improvement in results at schools with a high proportion of children on free school meals.
The evidence is highlighted in a three-year study of the Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA), undertaken by researchers at the universities of Sussex and Brighton.
In a study of 31 schools, researchers found that there was “little or no shouting” and that conflicts between pupils escalated far less frequently than they had done before the schools adopted the new approach. Fixed-term exclusions decreased in 13 schools, stabilised in three, and five reported no exclusions, the study says.
Pupils increasingly took part in making decisions, ranging from debates about the state of the playground to discussions on staff appointments. In some schools, pupils showed candidates for teaching jobs around the school and identified questions they wanted to ask.
Pupils also gave feedback after candidates for teaching jobs gave sample lessons.