‘Ran­dom acts of hate’ in Welling­ton school

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

‘‘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.’’

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