We know that the bullying of children with unusual appearances is all too common

emPowering parents

  • School should be a nice place to be and a safe place for everyone
  • Anyone can experience an unfriendly incident at school. Bullying, however, is targeted and repeated, and involves a power imbalance (such as the power that a conventionally ‘good-looking’ child may feel they have over someone whose appearance is unusual in some way)
  • Don’t ignore any change, however small, in your son or daughter’s behaviour or mood around school or when they go online or use their phone
  • Ask open questions like “How are things?”
  • Listen quietly, don’t rush. It can take time to say something difficult
  • Keep calm, discuss options, and keep listening – it takes time to arrive at the right plan of action
  • Be there.


Photograph: Marcus and friends, photographed by Christopher Thomond for The Guardian