This Monday marked the beginning of Anti-Bullying Week 2021: One Kind Word, which ends on the 19th of November. It is an annual British event coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance in England and Wales. The week aims to raise awareness about the prevalence and nature of bullying, which could lead to children feeling empowered to report bullying in their own lives, as well as how to mitigate and tackle this conduct. Last year, 7.5 million children and young people were affected by their school’s celebration of anti-bullying week. This gladly shows the massive reach and impact of the occurrence, especially as research shows that approximately 1 child in each classroom experiences bullying every day.
Andy Day, a patron of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, of CBeebies fame, and his band ‘Andy and the Odd Socks’ showed their support in their release of the honorary song: ‘One Kind Word’, an upbeat, informational, and motivational tune about the endless sanguine impacts of a kind word. To kickstart the occasion ‘Odd Socks Day’ took place on the 15th; many children relished the opportunity to wear brightly-coloured, odd socks to school to demonstrate that everyone’s individuality and unique personal expression should be celebrated.
The theme of this year’s Anti-Bullying Week was chosen to be ‘One Kind Word’ to emphasise the importance of acts of kindness, especially in the post-lockdown climate. The Anti-Bullying Alliance preaches that kindness can subvert the cycle of bullying and the infectious nature of negativity through alighting hope and thus, hopefully making someone feel less alone or have a better day. Considerate interaction reportedly has the total potential to fuel a progression of further amity. They encourage us to aim to impart one kind word for Anti-Bullying Week, even insofar as a greeting or asking how someone is feeling.
Teachers can get involved with Anti-Bullying week by downloading and implementing the teaching resources or assemblies, catered respectively towards specific age groups, offered by the Anti-Bullying Alliance. Furthermore, the Alliance suggests enacting a review of anti-bullying policy at one’s school, setting up peer support programs, and providing ideas to make break times feel safer and more supportive for vulnerable students.