#Anti Bullying Assembly #Wonder #ideastolenfromTwitter

I really enjoyed reading the book  Wonder. I enjoyed seeing the story from different perspectives, from August, Jack , Summer , Miranda and Via ( my favourite character) and how words have different meanings and connotations, how they can be heard completely differently and how painful they can be coming from friends and enemies. It also looked at how we can forgive people for their mistakes and I thought this was a valuable message. Jack texting August had to say sorry 4 times to get his message across, oh and punch Julian, which I don’t recommend.

paperHowever knowing or expecting to be forgiven is a dangerous attitude to have and made me think of how damaged we can be. We all know the phrase, sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me, well I think that’s a lie. And to show you what I mean I want you to image this piece of paper is me.

This was me at 5. Then I moved to Holland and learnt to read and write in Dutch but it wasn’t until I returned back to England that I started to learn how to read English. Not an easy task for a Dyslexic person. The Dutch language is simple, you write what you say.  English has silly rules, which always have exceptions. Anyway I realised that I wasn’t quite the same as everyone else and my teacher kept me in at break to give me extra help.  To everyone else I was stupid. I had found my alkies heal.  We all have it.  Something we really hate about ourselves. Our height, hair colour, nose, wonky teeth, for everyone it’s different and when someone comments on it, it hurts. So when I was called stupid at 7 it started to crumple me a bit.

As school went I worked hard and managed to find some good friends who didn’t think I was stupid, never mentioned it. I grew in confidence but the creases are always there.

Imagine someone else as this piece of paper, someone who not only gets comments at school but written comments on the internet. Comments that can make you angry, can affect your mood for the rest of the day. Nasty words that support what you have always thought, that you are worthless and no one likes you. Your friends and family can help you iron out these issues, can even give you sellotape to try to join you together, Forgiving people for the tears and comments can help as well, but it will always be there. Hopefully this visual aid helps you understand how bullying can effect someone, even if its only banter.

I really liked the idea that August face in Heaven wouldn’t be the same and I hope everyone’s imperfections dissolve, but then we would all be the same and as my mother often said to me that would be boring. I think at school we are good at accepting everyone for who they are, but sometimes banter can step over the line. So while I know we don’t always mean what we say and things can get out of hand, I really want you to think before you speak. Or write.

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

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