Our Marketing Intern Jasmine Carey has produced an excellent article on Anti-Bullying week which took place on 13th - 17th November 2017.
Anti-Bullying week - a week to reflect on the emotional, physical, and social torment that nearly half of children and young people (46%) have experienced at school during some point in their lives, according to NSPCC figures. Recent statistics, taken from analysis completed by the NSPCC in 2016/2017, have confirmed that there have been over 24,000 Child Line counselling sessions with children, with one in four children having experienced something distressing on social media. Have you, or someone you know, been a part of that significantly large figure? If so, it’s time to change that…
Bullying can take place in various forms, including cyber bullying (using social networking sites to victimise or upset someone), physical bullying, verbal bullying (bullying using verbal abuse such as insults and intimidation) or social bullying, in which the bully indirectly hurts the sufferer through use of damage to reputation. Realistically, the type of bullying isn’t a significant factor, especially when all forms of bullying usually result with an individual being left to feel unstable, unsafe, and distressed – something which should be highlighted and tackled during the week in which former victims, and current victims of bullying, can unite and find appropriate conclusions together.
(Picture Left to Right Izzy and Jasmine)
As part of my research, I interviewed Izzy Arnott (a year 12 student), who was eager to share her story in the hope that it will bring a sense of belief and hope to other students throughout the college and country who may feel as though there is no visible escape from this malicious behaviour. When asked about her experience of bullying, Izzy stated that she had been bullied from year eight to year eleven, a period in which the bullying escalated from an argument on social media to physical threats and violence. When I asked Izzy how such cruel behaviour made her feel, Izzy claimed ‘it made me feel nothing at first’, until the intensity of the bullying escalated to such an extent in which left her ‘scared to go out and go to school’. From experiencing such threatening behaviour over a vast period, Izzy agreed that it had a huge impact on her life, mainly due to the fact it left her in a position of intense vulnerability. ‘It led to me having to leave school and all my friends’, Izzy mentioned, as well as the fact it left her ‘feeling depressed and looking for a way out’. Like many teenagers across the country, bullying not only left Izzy feeling excluded from society, but also feeling physically threatened and afraid, a feeling in which is one of the most daunting for any young person. When I asked Izzy what advice she would like to give to children and young adults who have or still are experiencing such fragility stimulated by a bully, Izzy stated ‘Stand up for yourself if possible’, suggesting that bullying is defeatable in many ways. From talking to family and friends, to professionals and to the police (if necessary), there is always an appropriate way to protect yourself from bullying and the upset it can cause, as is deeply reflected through Izzy’s personal experience and the fact that she is now back in full time education, pursing her career ambitions by studying Criminology, Fine Art and Psychology.
Not only is anti-bullying week used to raise awareness of bullying, but it is ultimately about facing bullying – a global issue – together as a community. When being exposed to bullying, many young people suffer to address the issue out of fear that the situation would become even more frightening than it already is.
Another year 12 student, Antonia Kyronidou, admitted that ‘I didn’t speak to anyone about it, I was scared it would get worse if I did’, which is the initial thought process of many young, tormented sufferers. But how will bullying ever be overcome if it’s not openly discussed? When reflecting on her experiences, Antonia also advised ‘Don’t deal with it on your own, you are not alone’, a crucial piece of advice for anyone who is subject to such unjustified behaviour. If you are, or know someone who is being bullied, do not battle through this period of isolation alone; by talking to friends, family, teachers and even professionals, the impact of bullying can be minimised and even completely abolished from your personal life, as not only will you feel extreme support, but the bully themselves will most likely feel embarrassed and ashamed. As stated by a year 12 student with the initials OW, ‘bullying shouldn’t be accepted, so don’t let it be’, which shows that no matter the situation, bullying is unacceptable and needs to be settled effectively. In addition to this, OW claimed ‘your insecurities, which bullies thrive off, are your perfections’, a key point to remember whether you have been bullied or not.
So, what can you - and we (the students of Worthing college) - do about this?
Firstly, we can talk; talk to each other, teachers, personal tutors, councillors and family. Secondly, we can unite. We can work together on appropriate solutions and methods on how to deal with bullying. And lastly, we cannot be afraid. A bully isn’t someone who is truly threatening, often they are those who have experienced bullying before or are vulnerable themselves, so by coming up with suitable ways of dealing with this, bullying at Worthing College will be a minimal worry for you and fellow students!
If you would like to speak with someone about bullying, please contact our Student Advice and Support Team in room G30 for any advice or guidance. Alternatively click here for a full list of helplines and websites that can provide you with information and support.