Anti-Bullying Week 2022 is coordinated in England and Wales by the Anti-Bullying Alliance. It will take place from 14 to 18 November 2022 and has the theme Reach Out. The week will kick off with Odd Socks Day on Monday 14th November, where adults and children wear odd socks to celebrate what makes us all unique.
Bullying is something I have personally experienced. When I was eleven years old, I started secondary school. For any child, that alone is a daunting thing. On my first day we were instructed to stand in a line, the boy in front of me was funny, we hit it off really well and I went home thinking I had found a friend.
I, to this day, still struggle finding an answer to what pushed this boy to bully me. One day we were standing in a line outside IT, as we began walking into the classroom, I felt a shove. I can't remember if I even spoke to him before we headed in but all I knew was that he pushed me. I remember opening my mouth to scream but no sound came out, I remember who was next to me, the colour of the radiator he shoved me into, and the chipped paint on the pipe Infront of me. No idea what happened after though! All I know is I didn't tell my parents; my mum found the bruise a few days after when I was getting dressed. You could see the corner of the radiator imprinted on my leg with a bruise, it was about 6 inches across my 11-year-old thigh. I can't believe that so many people saw, teachers were alerted but my mum wasn't called.
In my English class the teacher introduced a new seating plan, and unfortunately the teacher sat me next to this boy, we laughed the lesson away, it was as if the radiator incident never happened. As the class ended, we all stood up, the next thing I felt was his hand on my head as he smashed it into the window. The glass didn't break, nor did my head thankfully. It did hurt and it did scare me, this time I reported it again and the boy was given a detention.
Fast forward to what should have been the last time this boy did anything to me, we were in food tech and another student was misbehaving. The teacher took the student out of the classroom leaving the class full of students alone. The boy started being unkind to another student teasing them for being Polish. I told him to leave the other student alone, he stood up and walked towards the teachers' desk saying he was going to take the knives off it and slice my throat with it. To say the least I was petrified, just at that moment the teacher came back in, and he ran back to his seat. Again, I reported it, the boy was put into isolation, they assured my mum that the boy would be in the head teachers office, and I was safe...
I was walking up to my form classroom and there at the top of the stairs was the boy, he came down laughing with his friends as he tried to knock me down the stairs. Fortunately, my friend behind me caught me saving me from the fall, I did however injure my rib cage. Apparently, he was left alone for 'only a minute', which seemed to be long enough for him to get out of isolation and come find me.
Due to the bullying, I experienced I have been diagnosed with Anxiety, Stress Disorder, Depression and PTSD. I have been to numerous councillors and still take anti-depressants to control my anxiety. I needed a lot of support, where the school failed in offering me that support, I can't express how much support I got from my Parents, Grand Parents, Friends, Family, Councilors, Drs and One teacher. Without all your support and encouragement that I was correct in feeling the way I did, and that I did not deserve what happened to me. I dont know where I would be
I hope that when people read this, if they too have been bullied, they won't feel so alone. I hope when people read this they will report when they are being bullied and I hope, when people speak about their experiences that schools, workplaces and people with enough power will help bring bullying to an end. Its not something I can do on my own, we all have to work together to stop this, that is why every year the third week of November is Bullying Awareness Week. This is to keep the conversations going and one day bring an end to bullying.