Aim­ing for pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ships

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - Brave Teen -

bul­ly­ing con­tin­ued into fourth year mea­sures would have to be taken.

“But if any­thing it is get­ting worse and we have now con­tacted the coun­cil to com­plain about the school’s han­dling of the sit­u­a­tion.

“We feel that it has come to a very se­ri­ous point where Steve’s im­por­tant exam results in May could be af­fected by his bul­lies’ cam­paign of ha­rass­ment and in­tim­i­da­tion.”

Steve has taken in­spi­ra­tion from a foot­balling hero in his ef­forts to beat the bul­lies, say­ing: “I am a big Manch­ester City fan and ev­ery time I am go­ing through some­thing dif­fi­cult, I think what would Pep Guardi­ola [ City’s man­ager] do or say?

“He would never tol­er­ate this type of bul­ly­ing be­hav­iour and would be mo­ti­vated to con­tinue to ap­ply him­self to his work in the best way pos­si­ble.

“I have re­ceived awards in ev­ery sub­ject ex­cept PE and ge­og­ra­phy and been nom­i­nated as the school’s can­di­date in the Scot­tish Youth Par­lia­ment.

“I love foot­ball and other sports and want to develop a ca­reer involving sport and sci­ence.”

And coura­geous Steve had this pow­er­ful mes­sage for oth­ers out there be­ing sub­jected to bul­ly­ing: “Stand strong and don’t change who you are.

“You need to be your­self and don’t let peer pres­sure get you down.

“Talk to peo­ple about what you are go­ing through and don’t bot­tle it all up.

“You have a bright fu­ture ahead of you and don’t let any­one stand in your way.”

The Ad­ver­tiser un­der­stands that St An­drew’s High is of­fer­ing Steve daily sup­port and is “tak­ing this mat­ter se­ri­ously”.

Head teacher Pet e r Holmes said: “It would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate to com­ment on the spe­cific is­sues around th­ese al­le­ga­tions.

“How­ever, bul­ly­ing has no place within our school and we do all we can to sup­port our pupils who re­port in­stances of bul­ly­ing.

“We work hard to cre­ate a cul­ture of in­clu­sion, re­spect and sup­port within our school.

“St An­drew’s High School is com­mit­ted to our young peo­ple’s so­cial, phys­i­cal, emo­tional and men­tal health and well­be­ing and view this as be­ing as im­por­tant as their aca­demic at­tain­ment.

“Our anti- bul­ly­ing pol­icy makes it clear that bul­ly­ing be­hav­iour will not be tol­er­ated within our school.” Next month will mark an­tibul­ly­ing week and Scot­land’s re­spectme ser­vice is urg­ing peo­ple to join its cam­paign “to­wards re­spect and pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ships”.

The #ChooseRe­spect ini­tia­tive launched last week and will con­tinue dur­ing anti-bul­ly­ing week from Novem­ber 12 to16.

Katie Fer­gu­son, ser­vice direc­tor for the anti-bul­ly­ing ser­vice, said: “Ev­ery day we make decisions about how we act to­wards oth­ers and while choos­ing re­spect isn’t al­ways easy, it’s ul­ti­mately our de­ci­sion.

“This year’s anti-bul­ly­ing cam­paign aims to im­prove the un­der­stand­ing of chil­dren and young peo­ple about how, and why, they can choose re­spect and help pre­vent bul­ly­ing.

“We’re en­cour­ag­ing those in­volved in in­flu­enc­ing the be­hav­iour of young peo­ple to ‘pledge’their sup­port of the cam­paign at www. choosere­, where they’ll also find a suite of learn­ing ma­te­ri­als avail­able to down­load for free to help ex­plore a range of im­por­tant is­sues with chil­dren and young peo­ple. Our aim is to get the whole coun­try choos­ing re­spect and make Scot­land a fairer and more in­clu­sive place for ev­ery child and young per­son.”

Foot­ball fan Steve, at Real Madrid’s Bern­abeu Sta­dium Mak­ing his mark De­spite his trou­bles, Steve (left) has con­tin­ued to im­press in aca­demic and sport­ing events, in­clud­ing cap­tain­ing the school’s S1-3 team (pic­tured) to the top hon­our at the North La­nark­shire schools’ bad­minton league com­pe­ti­tion

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