Across the UK, it is National Anti-Bulling Week and this year the theme is ‘Stop and think, Words can hurt’. As they always do at Mill Hill, the Anti-Bullying and Mentoring Council (ABMC) led the School in making sure that pupils’ awareness was high with regard to bullying issues. A Non-Uniform Day on Friday 18th November with the now traditional blue theme raised significant amounts for anti-bullying charities and blue cakes were on sale in The Refectory that day.
A recent survey of pupil opinions undertaken by the ABMC had generated lots of useful information on pupil perceptions. As a result, the pupils on the ABMC decided to focus on cyber bullying during the week’s Chapel services because it is one of the most common and most hurtful ways of bullying amongst their generation.
The assemblies consisted of an opening piece of improvised drama involving Seb Daly, Georgia Green, Jess Loizou (all McClure), Francesca Livesey (Murray) and Callum Lee (School) and then some short presentations from Sophie Iliffe (Collinson, who had created the overall idea for the assembly), Seb Daly and Georgia Green. A YouTube clip brought to life for pupils just how upsetting being the victim of cyberbullying can be before Callum Lee and Jess Loizou gave some tips on how to deal with being in this situation.
The assembly was concluded by Francesca Livesey who read the following prayer for those who are bullied:
Let us remember that when we laugh at someone, they feel pain.
Let us remember that when we pick on someone they are angry but also afraid.
Let us remember that when we don’t stick up for someone who is being bullied, they are alone.
Let us remember that we bully because we want to feel strong, the boss.
But are we? What have we done?
We have forgotten our own fear by making others frightened.
We have forgotten our own loneliness by leaving one of us alone.
We have hidden our own nightmare in another’s terror.
It is no longer enough to be sorry.
It is no longer enough to boast and swagger.
These attitudes are hollow, skating on the thin ice of our own fears, our own hates.
May we have the courage to confront ourselves in the ‘not me’, ‘don’t want to know’, ‘it’s their problem’, ‘I’m not involved’.
May we have the courage to confront ourselves in the ‘I’m right’, ‘She’s black’, ‘He’s stupid’, ‘I’m me and it’s my world, not theirs’.
For we are all hurt, all afraid, all alone, all different, all me, and the world is all ours.
We all have only one life.