Tackling sexual harassment amongst young people

It has been widely published that sexual harassment has become ‘normalised’ amongst teenagers within society. Sexual harassment is an example of peer-on-peer abuse. Incidents can include:

Verbal comments or comments made on social media:

  • Sexist name-calling
  • Unwanted or inappropriate sexual comments
  • Rumours about sexual activity

Physical contact:

  • Unwanted touching eg in school, on the bus, walking home, at parties
  • Sexual assault

Being pressured:

  • Feeling pressured to do sexual things they did not want to do
  • Being put under pressure to send sexual images of themselves

Social media incidents:

  • Being sent unwanted sexual pictures
  • Having pictures or nudes that they sent being shared more widely without their knowledge or consent
  • Being photographed or videoed without their knowledge or consent
  • Having pictures or videos taken without their consent circulated on social media

What parents/carers can do?

We ask parents/carers to be aware of these issues and encourage your children to talk to you about any worries. We would also encourage them to report to us these concerns too.

My advice to parents and carers is to create the culture before the crisis. Children have told us they want their mums and dads to create a safe, judgment free space for them to talk about these issues. It’s better to do that before you hit a problem rather than trying to create that mood while you’re dealing with one.

Helpful Links

Digital Parenting

Digital Parenting is a partnership between Parent Zone and Vodafone. The free annual magazine is an online safety guide for families, providing parents and carers with practical information and advice directly from teachers, other parents/carers and online safety experts on a range of subjects.

The latest issue features a number of articles including the topics of:

  • Digital resilience and how to nurture it in children
  • PSHE and it’s role in keeping children safe online
  • Body image and social media
  • Live streaming
  • Cybersecurity: A parent’s guide
  • Spotting harmful sexual behaviour online
  • Age ratings and what they mean
  • Tools and controls

Helpful Links

Staying Safe Online

At SJB we are committed to ensuring that students are safe when using the internet at School. Nonetheless, much of a child’s internet usage occurs outside of school, and we ask parents/carers to be interested, supportive and vigilant to their children’s usage. This page has been designed to give you information that will support you in this role.

What is my child doing online through social networking?

Children and young people go online to connect with friends, and make new ones, to browse the internet for information, chat with others and play games. They may:

  • Search for information or content on search engines like Google and Bing
  • Share images and watch videos through websites or mobile apps like Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, YouTube and Whatsapp
  • Use social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter
  • Write or reply to messages on forums and message boards
  • Play games alone or with others through websites, apps or game consoles
  • Chat with other people through online games, webcams, social networks and tools like Whatsapp.
  • When online, children and young people can learn new things, get help with homework, express themselves creatively and connect with friends and family. There are also risks, but by understanding and talking about the dangers you can help keep your child safe online.

What are the risks that my child could face?

Understanding the potential risks and encouraging safe and responsible use of the internet are crucial steps towards ensuring the safety of your child. Depending on the role that your child takes, whether the recipient, participant or actor, there are a number of potential risks.

Keeping your child safe online:
The internet is used every day in almost every home, we all know how useful it can be for research, gaming, keeping in touch with friends and even homework. But, as a parent, do you know what your child is researching, who they are playing games with and who their ‘online friends are.

A few tips to help keep them safe are:

  • Ensure you know who they are speaking to.
  • Do they know all their friends ‘online’ or are they “friends of friends”?
  • Do they have internet access all night in their bedrooms – do they need it?
  • Emphasise the danger of meeting someone they have only spoken to ‘online’.
  • Cyber-bullying is increasing – it is easier to type/text nasty things than say them face-to face.
  • Know how to report incidents and block unwanted contacts.

Parents and carers play a key role in supporting children to learn about how to stay safe online, and they are one of the first people children turn to if things go wrong. We know it can be difficult to stay on top of the wide range of sites and devices that young people use, so we hope that the following advice helps.

  • Have ongoing conversations with your children about staying safe online
  • Carry out spot checks on the devices that your children use, looking at images, videos, and social media
  • Use safety tools on social networks and other online services.
  • Use parental controls on your home internet
  • Understand devices and the parental control tools they offer. A useful guide can be found on the UK Safer Internet Centre’s website.

Helpful Links

Support for Parents

To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others.

Pope John Paul II

Parenting is an incredible privilege that brings huge responsibility and joy, in equal measure. Parenting provides so many moments of happiness and pride, however, it is not without challenge. As teenagers grow and develop they require support to navigate the challenges that today’s society can present.

In this section of our website we have provided some useful support/ guidance for parents on a variety of key themes.

Supporting your child with their Wellbeing

Building Resilience

Through our curriculum, assemblies, form time activities and PSHE, we have a real focus on helping to develop resilience among our students. Resilient children are less afraid of making mistakes and more prepared to take risks – because they can cope if they get things wrong. They are also more able to be adaptable when they face challenges as they have developed a range of strategies to help them to overcome these. There are some fantastic resources you can access to help to support your child with this at home.

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Additional Support – School Based Support

We do however understand that there may be times, for a variety of reasons, when your child is struggling and you may need some additional. We have a really clear structure of support at SJB with form tutors always being the first point of contact. Any additional support your child may need will be co-ordinated through your child’s Head of Year. We offer a wide range of additional support including:

  • Coping Strategies
  • Wellbeing Mentors
  • Small group Wellbeing Sessions (for anxiety and self esteem)
  • Bereavement support
  • Short term counselling sessions / support
  • Referrals to external / additional support

Should you feel like your child needs additional support please contact your child’s form tutor in the first instance. They will be able to pass on your concerns to the most relevant person.

Parental Guide

As a school we are regularly asked by parents and carers for advice on how to best support children with their well-being at home.

So we thought it would be helpful if we put together a booklet with strategies and organisations that have been particularly helpful / effective in the past.

Whilst this is by no means a complete picture, of every method that can be used or every organisation that can be accessed, we do hope that you will find this a helpful starting point.

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External Support

There are a number of organisations who offer support for families and young people covering a range of specialities. Below are organisations which have been successfully used by families and young people in the past year.

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In a crisis situation

Should you find yourself in a situation where you need URGENT support regarding your child’s mental health or wellbeing please use the following services:

Surrey Mental Health Service offer a Mental Health Helpline

They operate 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year 0800 915 4644

If you cannot get an appointment with your GP and it is an emergency, take your child to A&E.