My assembly #bullying or #sexual harassment

One of my main concerns is bullying and I have spent a lot of time talking with pupils about the affects and problems related to bullying.

With this in mind I would like to tell you a story about a girl called Louise.

Louise was 12 when she changed school. She came from Aldershot an army based area with lots of different cultures and moved to a small place called Bruton in Somerset. Most people talked with a broad Somerset accent.

Louise was teased when she first started, mainly about her accent ( apparently she was posh) and the fact that she had braces, greasy hair and spots. This teasing turned into pushing and shoving, especially when waiting for the bus. Flour and eggs where thrown and Louise was often pushed into the river by the bus stop. Over time, this stopped and Louise grew strong enough to walk away. However there was one boy who constantly insulted Louise on the bus, talking about the size of her breasts. She hated this and did not know how to stop him. Often coming home crying, her Mum would try to pick her up from school, so that Louise would not have to go home on the bus. During her four years at the school the bullying was constant although she learnt how to ignore it.

When starting her new school at 16 Louise was determined not to get stuck in the same trap. She faked being confident, but it worked for her as she was picked as a prefect and head of the sixth form social committee, voted by her class mates. She learnt to say No and mean it and was often standing up for herself when previously she would have hidden. A new start was good for Louise although she hated the fact that she had let the boy get to her.

4 years after leaving her first school Louise was on a university break, she bumped into the boys older brother. They started talking about school and then he told her a secret. The main reason that he had picked on her was that he fancied her and he did not know how to talk to her.

Although being bullied made Louise strong she regrets not confronting him especially as she now see that he was the problem not her. People are often bullied because other people are jealous, afraid, bullied themselves or stupid. She was bullied because she was liked. Some of you may have guessed that the girl was actually me, and looking back I would questions if it happened to me now that I would see it as sexual harassment. Sometimes people don’t realize that they are bullying. They are teasing! Or its only banter. To me that’s just an excuse, we know there are words that are wrong to say. Or write. Words that would upset you or upset your family if they heard you saying them. You are intelligent enough to know what words I am talking about.

I suppose what I am trying to say is that:

Bullying is WRONG.
And you should TELL.
Bullying is not a spectators sport and should be STOPPED

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Posted by

Assistant Head ( DSL) at a boarding school. Interested in all PSHE and safeguarding topics.

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