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Whistleblowing

To consider the action we can take when aware of bullying (SEAL theme 3: Say no to bullying).

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To consider the action we can take when aware of bullying (SEAL theme 3: Say no to bullying).

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a whistle.

Assembly

  1. Blow your whistle and ask the children what they think this means in the context of being in assembly.

    Ask for other suggestions as to when whistles are blown.

    Identify that a whistle brings everyone to attention. It is loud. It is commanding.

    A whistle often stops people in their tracks. Think about PE, football games – a whistle is blown when a foul has been committed.

    A whistle can also be used to give information. Think about a guard warning of the train leaving the platform.
  2. Introduce the term ‘to whistleblow’ and explain that this doesn’t mean that someone takes a whistle out of his pocket and blows it. It means, rather, that someone draws attention to something going on that is wrong.

    Many adults ‘whistleblow’ about unfair and wrong things that go on in the workplace, in government and even within a nation. Perhaps a boss is very unfair to one member of staff, picking on this member of staff for no apparent reason. In this situation this person, or another member of staff who is very concerned that bullying is going on, can ‘whistleblow’. That means they can tell someone higher up. Then the unfair treatment will be looked into and the bullying will be stopped.

    Sometimes people put up with bullying from others because they think they might lose their jobs, or because they think it might make things worse, or because they don’t know who to tell. That is why there is even a whistleblowing hotline that people can go to for advice. Nobody should have to put up with bullying.3.  A school is a place where whistleblowing is acceptable.

    Sadly, children can be bullied for all sorts of reasons and this can make their lives very difficult. No child should have to accept bullying.

    (Check that the children know your school policy on bullying and where to go to ‘tell’. Encourage them to do so.)

Time for reflection

Have you ever been bullied or seen someone else being bullied? How did it make you feel?

Bullying is never acceptable. Always be brave enough to be a whistleblower.

Prayer
Dear God,
we know that you see everything
and are saddened when people are unfairly treated and hurt by others.
Help us to be brave enough to speak out
and to speak to those in authority
who can do something about these painful situations.
Amen.

Song/music

‘I will bring to you the best gift’ (Come and Praise, 59)

Publication date: February 2013   (Vol.15 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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