What is bullying? Bullying is a very serious matter because it can happen to anyone. It is very important to help prevent bullying because it affects lots of young people in serious ways, especially their mental health, and the effects of bullying can stay with a person for the rest of their life. The National Centre for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice estimates that around 20% of students aged 12 to 18 experience bullying, 30% of young people admit to bullying and around 70% have said they have seen bullying in their school.
Due to the increased use and accessibility of social media, bullying has spiked over the years, and now extends to outside the classroom in the form of cyberbullying. This in many ways can be even more detrimental than physical bullying, as the anonymity provided by the internet makes it easier for people to say things they may not dare to say to someone face to face.
This is why, in celebration of Anti-Bullying Week, we took part in many activities against bullying, such as Odd Socks Day. The whole school had to wear 2 different types of socks, to represent that being different is not a bad thing and that we can all be ourselves because we are all different and unique, yet equal.
We also took part in House Family and Friendship Day. We were divided into our 4 school houses (Keynes, Locke, Newton and Austen) and wore the colour of our house (green, red, blue and yellow). This let us identify members of our house and was a great opportunity to get to know people better and make lots of new friends across the years that we may not have been able to talk to other days.
This was a very fun experience and helped create a very friendly and inclusive atmosphere around school. Anti-Bullying Week is very important to raise awareness about the issue, as well as the horrible effects of bullying and the sheer number of people are effected. If you are being bullied or think someone else is, please speak out, and confide in someone you trust: a teacher, a family member, even a friend. You are never alone.
Illustration by Federica D, Year 12