Bullying victims might be failed by 'over-complicated' system

BBC, 4 April 2014, UK

Some victims of bullying could be failed by an "over-complicated" system, the children's commissioner for Wales has said.

Keith Towler said children wanted someone to listen to them and act on what they say.

He said it was about "making sure you get the basics right".

He made the comments following the suspected overdose of a teenager from Rhondda Cynon Taf whose mother said he could not cope with being bullied.

Talking to BBC Radio Wales, but not specifically about 15-year-old Simon Brooks, Mr Towler said: "At the heart of all of this is about listening to children's complaints.

'Lose sight'

"Sometimes we overlook the basics, that's absolutely true."

Mr Towler believed adults sometimes "lose sight" of the fact children expect them listen to their fears "and act on what they say".

"It's all about (children) feeling safe," he said.

Mr Towler said the Welsh government's guidelines were good, but added: "Sometimes the systems can over-complicate things.

"It's about making sure you get the basics right."

The commissioner spoke after Simon Brooks, of Tonyrefail, died on Tuesday following a suspected overdose.

His mother said her son left a goodbye message on his phone saying he been bullied.

Julie Brooks said Simon had suffered bullying at both his current school, Y Pant, in Pontyclun, and former school.

RCT council and the schools have been asked to respond to the allegations of bullying, but have not yet done so.