Anti-bully program worth a try
HEARING the words ‘I wish I was dead’ coming from a child’s mouth is unimaginable and the most painfully heartbreaking thing for any parent to hear.
For Alexander Heights resident Fraser Griggs, those words were the driving force for him to establish P2S Rugbyworks to help stop children from being bullies or becoming victims of bullying like his 11-year-old daughter was.
Erin Griggs, who had to move schools because it got so bad, described being bullied as “absolutely terrible”.
“I tried to deal with it on my own but I was just a wreck, I didn’t cope with it very well and I just cried every day,” she said.
“The bullies made me feel so alone and so unimportant and unnoticed; it made me feel so sad, like I had just been stepped on over and over again.
“I did not cope well at all. I just wanted to stay home and not go anywhere and was definitely not myself.”
Erin said she kept the bullying a secret for about a month before telling her mum, but wished she had asked for help straight away because it “tore” her apart.
Mr Griggs said there was a feeling of being “powerless to protect your child from the abuse”.
“Having seen my 10-yearold daughter subjected to a horrific year of psychological bullying at our local primary school, I was amazed to see how seemingly powerless the school claimed to be in such matters when it was simply her word against the word of the alleged perpetrator,” he said.
“To have my daughter say ‘I wish I was dead’ at bedtime after another traumatic day was heartbreaking.
“It is easy to blame the bully, but kids often grow up in difficult circumstances and having met the parents of the boy involved, I could certainly relate to the ‘you are what you’re exposed to’ mantra.”
P2S Rugbyworks is a longterm life skills development program focused on returning marginalised young people back into sustainable education, training and employment.
Mr Griggs said the program worked with young people to give them life skills to seize opportunities.
“The program is based on the values of rugby union and provides a fun environment in which they can develop to reintegrate with their communities,” he said.
Based on the Dallaglio RugbyWorks program in the UK, P2S Rugbyworks has six coaches who have run two pilot sessions at Alta-1 in Merriwa and aims to help at least 250 young people this year.
Entirely self-funded, Mr Griggs has launched a GoFundMe campaign at https://gofundme.com/p2sru gbyworks.