‘Random acts of hate’ in Wellington school
‘‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’’
Well that’s a little off. By a little, I mean it’s horribly incorrect. Someone can physically beat you at school, but we’ve all heard those stories. A child comes home every day with cuts and bruises. They fear for their safety.
However, verbal bullying happens more and can be just as bad, if not worse. This is not recognised as much as physical violence and it is a problem that needs to be sorted soon.
We, as a country, need to ensure that children, as the youngest members of our community, do not suffer verbal bullying.
I’m 13 and I attend a single-sex school. We are a decile 10 state integrated school, so everyone assumes that surely the students are supportive and friendly. Partially, they are correct; it’s not everyone.
But there is a depressingly large number of bullies. A lot of students are being bullied.
We all pretend that bullying is a minor problem, that it’s just the 1 per cent. If that was true, then in my year group of nearly 100 I would be the lone kid who was bullied. And this is a school that is supposed to have none of that bullying culture! No, this is a widespread problem. It needs to be fixed.
I’m in a trap where I feel like I can’t tell anyone about my situation. One relentless, horrible child, is on my case constantly about everything. The main problem, though, is all the little bits I get from random people. I feel I have no-one at school I can trust, who I can fall back on and who’ll always be there.
I have one friend outside of school. This friend went to primary school with me, but we have since unfortunately grown apart.
It wasn’t always like this. When I started at the school I got on with most people and it was all going great, but then one person started and I reacted and the wheels started falling off. I’ll be honest and admit that mistakes have been made by me.
But sometimes they even bully me about not being able to put up with it. Should I have to? No. In many cases, it’s not much, but it’s unpredictable. And it’s not just me it happens to.
I could go on and on about what happens, but I’m going to mention a gesture that happened recently. Mumpicked me up from school and we stopped at a cafe to get lunch. While we were there, I was talking toMumabout what was going on at school when the waitress came over with the food and drink we had ordered. She had thrown in a free gingerbread man with it. This was too much for me. About 10 seconds after she left, I broke down.
Every day at school I had what one might call random acts of hate directed at me. This waitress was performing a random little act of kindness, and that rarely happens to me. We never saw the waitress after this, but I can only thank her. It might not sound like much, but it made my day.
So then, how can the problem be fixed? Teachers go on about how one should come to them and tell them what is happening. This never works. It just heightens the problem as the bullies just think you’re soft and can’t deal with it.
I should be able to go to school and trust that I will feel OK. These child years should be carefree and happy. One should not be worrying all day, all week, all the time about what could go wrong.
Bullying needs to stop. We need to better educate our youngest children about morals, and make sure the role models we look up to don’t endorse it.
I should be able to go to school every day and not burst into tears when I get home.
Stuff Nation reader report, name withheld
‘‘Sometimes they even bully me about not being able to put up with it.’’