Chil­dren speak up about bul­lies

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Profile - Belinda Cipri­ano

ARAMIS Surtees would like to see a world where bul­ly­ing no longer ex­ists.

The 11-year-old, who ex­pe­ri­enced bul­ly­ing from years 1 to 4 and has seen friends and fam­ily dam­aged by it, said more needed to be done in schools and at home in or­der to see a change.

“I used to get bul­lied but I started to stick up for my­self and oth­ers who were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing it,” he said.

“I was phys­i­cally at­tacked once with a weapon and once with­out.

“It caused a lot of stress.”

Con­nect­ing with The Magic Coat founder

Di Wil­cox, Aramis said he was taught ways to get through the tough times and found his voice to speak against bul­ly­ing.

“I have seen bul­ly­ing at its worst, with some in­ci­dents last­ing years,” he said.

“Watch­ing them (peo­ple I know) deal with the af­ter-ef­fects, it made me feel bad.

“But speak­ing with Di, fam­ily and friends helped me get through it and I would like for peo­ple to lis­ten to Di Wil­cox’s mes­sages. The more they can lis­ten to her, the more wide­spread her mes­sage that bul­ly­ing needs to stop would be.”

Aramis said he hoped his story would en­cour­age oth­ers to speak and have the courage to talk to some­one.

“Learn­ing ac­cep­tance (of peo­ple’s dif­fer­ences) and hav­ing the con­fi­dence to speak out is im­por­tant,” he said. “One thing I’ve learnt is if you are be­ing bul­lied, you need to walk to a safe space, so at school that might mean walk­ing to a teacher. Find some­one you can trust and talk to them.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on The Magic Coat, visit www.themag­ic­coat.com.

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Aramis Surtees is an 11-year-old boy who was bul­lied se­verely and is now an anti-bul­ly­ing am­bas­sador for the Magic Coat pro­gram. Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie

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