For so many young people, the summer holidays are about getting a break from the stress and abuse of being bullied by their peers. Can you imagine the anxiety of going back into an environment where you're going to get a really hard time? How would you feel as an adult, going into your workplace on Monday morning, knowing full well you're about to be the victim of someone's tortuous plan? (This happens to many in the workplace of course, but as adults, we're better equipped to deal with it).
It's so important for parents and teachers to be vigilant at this time of year. Be proactive - signs and symptoms of bullying are easy to spot it's what you do about it that's important. Don't stand by or ignore what you're observing...engage with the young person concerned. The fact that a child is moody or withdrawn may be nothing to do with bullying, but there's a good chance it is.
As parents, you can expect your child's school to have a duty of care towards them - schools are legally obliged to ensure your child's safety and if they are failing to protect them, you can do something about it.
If you need help as a parent or a child, or just as an interested or concerned professional, visit beatbullying.org - we're here to help you.