Jewish Schools In Bullying Pledge

Jewish Schools In Bullying Pledge
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Professor Al Aynsley-Green made his comments in a national newspaper last weekend, as a series of incidents continued to keep the issue in the headlines.

This week, it was reported that 15-year-old Danielle Price from Neath received facial injuries in an assault after she received school awards.

The commissioner, who was appointed in July, told the Observer: “I have no doubt that children are being brought up in a society where violence is the norm in many ways. I include in this the violence on television, in the workplace and in the home.

“I have had hundreds of in-depth conversations with children since accepting this post, and I can tell you that the one thing every child I have met has been affected by, with virtually no exceptions, is bullying.”

And while he paid tribute to the good work going on in schools on the issue, Aynsley-Green insisted: “It is not going too far to say many schools and teachers are still in a state of denial about this issue.”

But Rabbi James Kennard, headteacher of King Solomon High School, acknowledged bullying was a problem for every school. He told TJ: “We have occasionally suspended pupils over bullying issues and I am prepared to do so whenever necessary, but fortunately that has been rare.”

He added: “Many students have experienced antagonism from other children. But to say that therefore every child is a victim of bullying, as we usually understand that term, is surely an exaggeration.”

Echoing those sentiments, Hasmonean High School’s Rabbi David Radomsky said his school had also used suspension in a small number of cases. He said: “There is always going to be a certain amount of bullying when children get together. When bullying does occur, we have a policy we implement with rigor.”

Noemi Berger, director of J-Line, Britain’s only dedicated helpline for Jewish children, said they received a number of calls each week from parents or children concerned about bullying. She said she believed the scourge is as prevalent in the Jewish community as outside, claiming: “We are not different, unfortunately.”

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