Pupils stand up to bullies
Emma Knights Schoolchildren from across the county today joined forces to help stamp out bullying.The true impact bullies have on the lives of youngsters was revealed through a series of poems, films, drama and musical numbers that the children shared at the Norfolk launch of national Anti-Bullying Week at Northgate High School, in Dereham.
Schoolchildren from across the county today joined forces to help stamp out bullying.
The true impact bullies have on the lives of youngsters was revealed through a series of poems, films, drama and musical numbers that the children shared at the Norfolk launch of national Anti-Bullying Week at Northgate High School, in Dereham.
The theme this year is Being Different, Belonging Together, and in each performance the youngsters stressed how people should celebrate their differences rather than victimise people for them, and that they should stand up to, and speak out about, those who bully.
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City College Norwich student Ginelle Semper, 18 and whose family are from Trinidad and Tobago, told of how she had been bullied because of her skin colour, and read out a poem, called Nobody Knows, that she had written about her feelings.
She said: “I was bullied in primary school and in high school I was bullied from the start too. The whole year turned against me and they even put worms in my hair. It did not stop until I wrote the poem in year eight and read it out in school. Then they finally accepted me. The launch for anti-bullying week was brilliant. I liked seeing everybody's performances which really stressed how we can help stop bullying.”
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Twins Nathan and James Bowers, 11 and who go to Long Stratton High School, showed a video about how they have been affected by being bullied because they are gypsies.
They have both been learning boxing at Norwich Lads ABC to help them combat the bullies and said they want to play with people at school rather than fight with them.
They said: “Since primary school we have been bullied and get pushed around and that is why we started in boxing.
“Sometimes people wait by the doors so when we go outside they can beat us up.
“Being bullied makes us feel scared and want to go home.
“We would like the bullies to leave us alone and leave everybody else alone too, not just travellers, but other people who are being bullied too.”
Also performed at the launch was a new short musical called Kick It Out, from Beyond Image Productions, which addressed issues such as text message and Facebook bullying, peer pressure to start smoking, and being picked on because you are pretty or clever.
Some of the other performances included a piece of drama from Fred Nicholson Special School, in Dereham, a poem called I Am Free Now by youngsters from Freethorpe Community Primary School, rock music from Flegg High School, in Yarmouth, and an anti-bullying drama from Northgate High.
There was also the premiere of a BBC Voices film involving five Norfolk schools called This Is Me, and this film will be shown on the large screen outside Chapelfield Shopping Centre throughout this week.
Rita Adair, specialist senior educational psychologist for Norfolk County Council and Anti-Bullying Alliance eastern regional advisor, said today's impressive performances from pupils across the county demonstrated how youngsters are committed to tackling bullying issues in their schools.
She added: “Bullying touches and affects everybody's lives. It is everybody's responsibility to do something about it whether they are a young person or a parent or teacher.
“And if you are being bullied tell somebody because bullies thrive on secrecy.”