Adults recall 'nasty playground pranks'

Playground bully 'Chinese burns', being tripped up and notes on the back were recalled by those polled

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Nearly half of adults schooled in the UK were at the receiving end of nasty playground pranks, a survey suggests.

The poll of the 1,844 adults who attended secondary school in the UK suggests some 27% recalled being given a "Chinese burn".

And 22% of those polled for Opinium Research said they were tripped up in the playground.

Meanwhile three-quarters admitted disobedience such as skipping class or fighting with classmates.

Some 36% admitted to not doing homework, 30% to bunking off lessons and 23% to being late for school while 16% said they had talked back to their teacher.

Just 1% of all those polled admitted to bullying, but many more were happy to admit that they had been subjected to experiences that may be construed as bullying today.

More survey findings

Q - Which of these school stereotypes were you?

  • Loner - 19%
  • Cool/Popular - 15%
  • Sporty - 14%
  • Class clowns & geeks - 9%
  • None of them - 19%

Q - Which subject was least beneficial to your education?

  • Religious education - 21%
  • Art - 16%
  • Gym - 10%

One in 10 said they had had a rude note stuck on their back, while some 6% had been towel-whipped.

The independent research company said it had surveyed a nationally representative panel of adults who attended secondary school in the UK and had wanted to get a feel for adults' memories of their school days and their attitudes towards them.

James Endersby, managing director of Opinium Research, said: "Whether you were a loner or a class clown most of us have fond memories of our school days.

"Recollections of secondary school often centre on the mischief of the playground and the pranks that many of us may have been at the receiving end of as kids.

"For some these memories are much stronger than anything they were ever taught in the classroom!"


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  • rate this

    Comment number 215.

    Where do you draw a line ?

    Short of physical violence, I tell my daughter to ignore the 'mean girls' (and there are plenty of them).

    Sticks and stones etc.

    Most people at some point will face bullying at unpleasant as it's part of life and will never go away.

    I'm not part of the 'eye for eye' brigade...I teach my daughter to turn the other cheek.

  • rate this

    Comment number 214.

    Teasing or bullying?

    I've been on the recieving end of both. Society must make a stand against systematic and melicious bullying, in order to prevent the scarring of children.

    That said, teasing must be allowed to allow children to develop a thick skin and to realise not everyone loves them. If every teaser was suspended there'd be no one left in the school!

  • rate this

    Comment number 201.

    I think most of us, at some time in our lives, have been subjected to some degree of bullying. However, whilst some go on to a lifetime wallowing in "victimhood" and consider themselves to be "survivors", others just deal with it, put it down to experience and get on with their lives. Such historical happenings don't have to be at the forefront of your thoughts unless you want them to be there.

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    In the real world, not everyone is going to be nice to you all of the time. The earlier you realise this, the better prepared you will be to cope with it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    My schooling was so very different from my children's; my teachers were like the extended family-if children could not cope with feistiness of others on playground, they were allowed to sit in class and read a book or help the teacher with marking. Its a cultural issue, bullying in bullingdon club replicated in all schools and is the norm in the UK. Prefects were chosen to take proactive action!


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