School bullies major headache for local councils

Industry news roundup: week ended 8 Oct  2012:

The ‘bullying epidemic’ in the UK has become a major headache for the nation’s schools, costing local councils nearly £110,000 in legal fees last year alone.

Personal injury compensation payouts made to victims of school bullies throughout the course of the last school year have grown from isolated incidents to a growing trend, thanks to nearly one dozen pupils brought personal injury claims for injuries caused by other students. Lancashire Council alone had been found to pay out around £28,000 towards the final total on three separate bullying incidents alone for instances of assault, broken arms, and crushed hands alone.

It’s not just an instance of one school ‘in a rough neighbourhood,’ either, as other injuries have occurred in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, where a £7,500 compensation award was given to one pupil who sustained injuries to his shoulder an arm after he was accosted in his classroom.  A similar incident occurred in West Yorkshire was even more costly to the local authority, with Bradford Council having to pay out on a £8,300 damages award.

For every instance where bullying has been a major problem in schools in the UK to the point where a personal injury compensation claim was made, there are tens of thousands of less high-profile cases. In fact, Department of Education figures say that there were 62,460 suspensions from school for physical altercations between students, wile there were 760 cases serious enough to expel the offending pupil permanently.

The Campaign for Real Education commented on the news, with a Campaign spokesman remarking that it is clear that bullying behaviour coming from these violent children is wholly responsible for these incidents. However, the responsibility lies with adults to put an end to violence and bullying in UK schools, calling for more intervention from teachers, administrators, and – above all – parents.

Behavioural experts say that most bullies come from homes with little to no positive role models in their personal lives. Many bullies are emotionally neglected or even abused by inattentive parents, leaving the blame squarely on the shoulders of those who should have the most influence on a young child’s life yet do not do enough to set the young boy or girl on the proper path ; in fact, many bullies learn the behaviour directly from their parents, who tend to be bullies themselves in turn.

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