Happy People Don't Bully launch 18th July 2013
The event was sponsored by Jane Hutt AM
On the 18th July 2013, at the Senedd and sponsored by Jane Hutt AM, EyePAT CIC launched this unique approach to combating bullying.
"I was pleased to host this important event in the Senedd and to congratulate EyePAT and Penny Steinhauer on her pioneering work providing Internet Safety Training across the UK to protect children and young people. Her excellent work engaging with professionals, carers, parents and young people is helping to counteract and tackle bullying online" - Jane Hutt AM
Face to face and cyber bullies now target nearly half of school children and a third of working adults. Why?
EyePAT’s Happy Kids and Happy People’s programme is about getting to the root cause of the problem. As Penny Steinhauer, EyePAT’s Training Director explained, there are basically 4 different types of bully: Accidental, Opportunistic, Substance Abuse and Chronic. Happy Kids and Happy People Don’t Bully are designed specifically to work with the Chronic Bully.
During a 5 minute exercise the audience, who included many Head Teachers, Mental Health Charities, Businesses, Children’s Charities, Unions, Health Boards, Youth Offending Teams and Local Governments came up with 121 reasons. The ones they chose to particularly highlight were “Low Self Esteem” “Need to Control” “Jealousy”, “Self Defence”, “Being Abused”, “Insecurity, feeling Threatened”, “Peer Behaviour” and “Pressurised”.
These words were then transferred onto bricks and a story was created made from these words. Penny hung the foam bricks around the neck of a child and an adult volunteer. The imagery of this was very powerful, as instead of seeing an ‘in control’ and ‘powerful bully’ the audience saw 2 sad people weighed down by their problems and clearly in need of support and help.
Penny explained that in one school where they ran the workshop, a little boy of 7, who regularly bullied the other children, wrote his reason as “because you are being hit at home”. Until then the school had no idea why he behaved the way he did.
At another school workshop a 16 year old lad, who was a recognised bully and gang leader came up to Penny afterwards and asked her if she could help him. In his case he came from a family where bullying was seen as normal and applauded behaviour. He wanted more from his life.
Penny went on to explain that Happy Kids and Happy People Don’t Bully is not only about helping the bully, it is also very much about helping the target [victim] understand that the bullying behaviour is all about the bully’s issues and not down to anything the Target has said, done, wears, thinks or believes! The message is clear, “If you bully it’s about your problems, not mine. Get Help!”
EyePAT, who have recently partnered with BASW Cymru to provide Online Safety Training and a Home Online Safety Audit for Social Workers to use for Care Plans, has for 5 years been providing extremely successful Online Safety Workshops for the education and care sector. The idea for Happy Kids Don’t Bully was born out of the cyber bullying element of these workshops. “We need to know what cyber bullying is, but we also need to know what causes cyber bullying if we wish to stop it”.
Recognising the financial constraints of schools, EyePAT have simultaneously launched a Happy Calendar. Schools and other organisations can create a personalised 2014 calendar with an anti-bullying theme, featuring all their pupils. They can then sell this to their parents and families to raise much needed funds. Perhaps some of this can be used to fund their anti-bullying activities. Details are available from their website http://www.eyepat.org/happycalendar.
The message from the event at the Senedd was very clear: “Being unhappy does not make you a Bully, but malicious bullying is only carried out by unhappy people”.
To support their work, Penny and her team at EyePAT have put together a booklet called Understanding the Bully. Each attendee was given a printed copy and it is available free from their website http://www.eyepat.org/bullyingresearch.
EyePAT showed the 3 short film clips they have produced to support Happy Kids Don’t Bully.
These films are available on their website http://www.eyepat.org/filmlinks