I was always a bit shy at school. Eventually I made it into the cool group. But it seemed to change me. To stay “in” with them you had to exclude people who were “out”. I was so so fixated on keeping my cool friends I started doing horrible things to other girls. No one wanted that to happen. Eventually they started to pick on me and that’s when my bullying started. Then my friends turned against me.
I heard about Act Against Bullying from my friends mum. I looked them up online. The advice from them was the best. “If you can’t enter a group, then start your own.” It was the turning point. I didn’t care about the cool gang any more. I was my own person. The bullying stopped. I made friends with someone who was “out”. Now everyone wants to be in my group because we have fun. We are all different. We like each other. “I’ll always be grateful to Act Against Bullying because they understood how complex bullying is.”
My son was being bullied at school and lacked confidence. My husband told him he had to stand up for himself but he couldn’t. He just wasn’t that type of boy. When he met with Act Against Bullying his behaviour changed overnight. I called to find out what the charity had said to him.
They found out that he was good at drama. He was to pretend he was playing a part when he went into the classroom. It helped him through. They made him feel good about himself. He will never be a tough guy, but he is a star. “Act Against bullying is my favourite charity. They are one hundred per cent genuine.”
We held a Cool to be Kind Day at our school. I asked everyone to talk about kind things they’d had done to them. We nominated kind pupils and presented them with an Act Against Bullying certificate.
We got lots of ideas from the charity to help us. We discussed how kindness and bullying were linked. It was a positive class session. The atmosphere was really good. The children loved it. If every day could be like that we would have no more bullying in school.
I was bullied right through high school. There was a boy in particular who had it in for me every day. He made it like it was fun but it was not. It started out just embarrassing. He would come up and say these horrible things in my ear and everyone would laugh. If I tried to talk back I was drowned out or he would wait until everyone had left class and then just start kicking me. He was always trying to hit me with books. I got so I was terrified of him. The worse thing is that when he did it everyone seemed to turn on me.
I hated going to school and found every excuse to avoid it. Eventually I dropped out. That’s my biggest regret. I couldn’t tell my mum and dad why I was so bad at school. They just thought it was me. But it wasn’t. One day I just said I couldn’t take it anymore and stopped going. But I didn’t have any qualifications. At first I didn’t care because I just wanted to get out of there.
I wish now that I had got help to deal with the problem. It was not my fault that I was picked on. Nor was I weak. But it took me several years to catch up with my school work. I felt angry for several years. But I’ve now got a degree and a happy relationship. When I came across Act Against Bullying I wanted to tell you my story to encourage others to ask for help and to tell them that everything can work out well.
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We’ve made quite a splash with our campaigns. But with your help, we can continue to change social attitudes on bullying and abuse wherever it occurs.
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Promoting peaceful solutions to counter abuse. Campaigning to influence policy, advising victims, teachers and parents. Building pro-social media support.