My name is Beth, I’m 17 years old, and I’m from the UK.

Here is my story:

I was bullied for about 6 years. I was called a lot of different names like fat, ugly, slag, etc. I was pushed around, tripped over, people threw things at me, spread rumours about me and a lot more. I’d sit in lesson being very quiet because I was scared to answer questions, for if I got the answer wrong, the kids would laugh at me, and this didn’t happen to anyone else. I’d spend my break times on my own in the library because I knew they wouldn’t go in there. I didn’t eat dinner at school because I was scared to go into the canteen (cafeteria). I was called fat and wanted to lose weight. One time they even told me it would be good if I died.

I told teachers at school and some tried to help me, but others didn’t really seem to care. The teachers that tried to help me couldn’t really do anything, I was being bullied by so many different people. The teachers spoke to 2 of the bullies but there was many more than 2! Even after teachers spoke to these people, they didn’t stop. I also told my friends, but they didn’t really want to help me because they were scared of being bullied too. I had a lot of time off school because of the bullying and my attendance was terrible. Teachers were worried about my grades and how much time I was having off from school, but they didn’t realise why I didn’t want to go to school. I was scared, scared of having to deal with these horrible people every single day! I did my exams and then finished school. I later went back to school to study further, but only did 1 year instead of 2. I left again because of the bullying.

I’ve had depression and anxiety for a long time now because of the bullying, and at one point,  I started self harming.  While I went through a lot of it on my own,  the school counsellor helped me. The school counsellor then referred me to a therapist and the therapist helped me.  Other than that there wasn’t much else to help me through this, which is why there needs to be a lot more done to help other people like me.

In my opinion, I think schools need to stick to their anti bullying policies. Some schools do, but not all of them. They have the rule in place for a reason so they need to stick to it. I think schools need to talk about the topic of ‘bullying’ a lot more so that children and young people are more comfortable talking about it, and this would also help them know what bullying is exactly because some people don’t really know. Some people get bullied, but they don’t know they are being bullied. In the UK there is a charity called ‘Red Balloon’ . ‘Red Balloon’ is an organisation for the recovery of bullied children who are too afraid to go to school. They help the children get back into education or training, but sadly they are only for people up to the age of 16. I would love there to one day be something like ‘Red Balloon’ for people older. I think it would help a lot of people. I also think every school should have some students who at every break time meet somewhere for other students to go to them and talk to them. Like for students who have not got many friends or the students who are worrying about some problems, etc.

Even though I went through all of this, I created this blog http://underneathmymask.wordpress.com/ to help others and show them that they are never alone. I still struggle with the bullying and my mental health, but this won’t stop me helping others. I really want to help people who are struggling with this. I don’t care how many people, even if I just help 1 person, I will be happy with that. I would even love to one day set up my own charity!

Together we can stop bullying.
Check out my blog and follow me on twitter @Hidden_Beth
Thank you, stay strong.

Beth x

Beth brings up so many great suggestions for other anti-bullying projects.  I LOVE the idea of a school buddy system that would pair kids up so that they would have someone to talk to during those breaks in the hallway or for a school lunch. Knowing you would be meeting up with someone to hang out or just talk would alleviate so much anxiety.   What do you think of Beth’s anti-bullying plan? Does your school have something like a buddy system?

As Beth say’s on her blog, “Things will get better, they just take time.”

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Karrie, a mother of a young girl named Elise, and I connected over Twitter. Karrie was actually one of the very first people to help promote the Twitter, Facebook, and website for MyKindnessCounts. Karrie has encouraged and inspired me through her encouraging tweets, kind words, and her courageous battle against bullying for her daughter. With all that she and her daughter have been through, I thought her story might really resonate with other parents who are going through a similar situation with their own children. Thankfully, Karrie and Elise agreed to share there story with us. Before you read her story below, please watch the clip of Karrie and Elise being feature on a local news station:

In November of 2010, my daughter Elise started a long journey no child should ever have to take. It all started on the bus when a few older kids began teasing her. The teasing then led to one of the boys punching my daughter in the face, giving her a black eye. While we are still not sure why this happened, one theory is that this boy liked my daughter and was upset when she didn’t like him back.

Over the course of the next five months, Elise continued to be tormented on the bus. She was tripped, kicked, punched and shoved, and for each incident, I called the school to report what had happened. I was told by the school that these kids would have to sit in the front of the bus and if they tormented my daughter again, they would be kicked off the bus. This promise was not kept. Later in the school year, Elise’s chin was split open from being hit with a seat belt. The school nurse reported this incident to be an accident and told my daughter it was an accident as well. My daughter, terrified by what had happened, just went along with what the adult told her. Elise never rode the bus again that year and nothing was ever done to address the bullying behavior my daughter experienced.

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