It’s now been a month since children have been back in school. Through Lockdown, for many families bullying and school violence fell down their list of worries as the reality was no longer as apparent as children received some levels of respite while not in school. Now schools are back in operation, the inevitable issues and stories are beginning to surface and sadly some of those stories tell of circumstances that have resulted in considerable harm to children and even death. No matter what the authorities would like the public to think about this perhaps being a trivial issue that is under control and nothing to worry about, this couldn’t be further from the truth and without intervention at the highest levels it will only get worse.
Many people who have experience working in schools will know how horrendous a situation can become, when just one child having gone through some kind of emotional or psychological trauma and returned to school has found it impossible to cope. Imagine the levels of trauma and pressure that the Coronavirus crisis has placed on millions of children and staff and what that effect may have on schools going forwards. It’s almost certain schools will be dealing consistently with major incidents of aggression and violence associated with that trauma and the resultant rise in Mental health issues that many experts have already warned about. With schools and staff having even less resources and structures to address things than they had before and in the schools minds, a lot more to worry about with the virus than looking out for bullying and violence issues, there is so much potential suffering on the horizon for children that we need to be putting the correct safeguards in place long before it happens .
There are stories and there is anecdotal evidence of various schools having real issues already but there are still too many professionals involved in education, including teaching staff and people in authority, with nowhere to turn in the system with their concerns because of the way Governments have set up the system, who are fearful of exposing the problems they are already facing and as a result remaining silent as things inevitably get worse. We want to encourage all those in education to at the very least begin recording evidence of the issues and to eventually find the courage to speak out on behalf of the children. As a campaign we need to know we have done all we can to keep sounding the alarm to prevent children being harmed and lives being lost, others who now know of our story and continue to hear of our fight, if they are to be able to have a clear conscience going forwards, need to be able to say they did the same.