Children Hiding Talents At School To Avoid Bullies

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19th November 2012 14:48 - Education

An online survey has revealed that nearly half of UK children have hidden, or attempted to hide, their talent in the classroom for fear of being bullied. 

The survey asked 1,042 kids between the ages of eleven and sixteen; with more than a quarter saying they had quit an activity they enjoy for the same reason. 

Nearly one in five girls said they had purposely underachieved in maths to avoid any unwanted attention from bullies. One in ten boys said the same, and overall 10% said they had played down their scientific ability. 

The poll also revealed activities that children had stopped because of bullying fears, with singing topping the list (11%), with 9% quitting dance lessons, 8% had stopped doing drama and the same number had quit playing a certain sport. 

However, not much is being done about the findings, as parents were also asked about the situation, with two-thirds admitting they had witnessed attempts of intimidation or bullying on the sports field. 

Ross Hendry, Chair of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, said it could lead to exam failures, avoiding extra-curricular activities, and ultimately limiting their life choices. 

"It's unacceptable that rather than celebrate their talent, they feel they have to hide their gifts, purposely underachieve in crucial subjects and miss out on things they enjoy because of bullying." 

The poll results coincide with the start of Anti-Bullying Week, which begins Monday, November 19th, and aims to highlight the issue and offer advice on dealing with problems arising from bullying. 

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