Welcome to Say No To Bullying Week, which culminates with a day of action today-Friday.
This initiative started in Queensland but has now spread across the nation.
It’s aim is to get people to speak out against bullies. Bullying doesn’t discriminate and affects not only children but adults too and everyone from all nationalities.
It can come in forms of cyber bullies, workplaces bullies and schoolyard bullies.
Bullying doesn’t necessarily mean in the physical but also the mental form. I’ve never been bullied physically but I have been on the receiving end with racist taunts.
As a five year old I didn’t really understand why I was being bullied, all I remember was coming to school in hope to play basketball with the Year six boys. During lunch time, when their basketball rolled out of the basketball court, I seized the opportunity to play with them and raced after the ball and threw it back to them, thinking I did a good deed. Instead they yelled, “Get your hands off our ball you bloody Jap!”
I didn’t know why they called me “Jap” because I was from a Chinese background (not Japanese). Later these boys used to tease me, as I was the only Asian girl at school. It wasn’t long afterwards that I soon found the courage to tell someone in authority-my teacher. She told the bullies off (once) but they still persisted in teasing me after school. I then didn’t want to go to school, but my mother told me not to let the bullies win. It was during this time that I found a passion in athletics and running after school. I used to spend all my spare time practicing running and doing long jump. It wasn’t until I started winning my athletic events and represented my school in athletics carnivals, that I gained respect from my peers and the bullies soon backed off. I would recommend for anyone who is being bullied, to first try to reach out to someone you trust and then focus on something you love doing and one day the tables will turn and the bullies will respect you for your talent-whether it be a sport, music etc.
If you are being bullied, do not put up with it. Make sure you reach out and speak to your school principal, your HR department or someone in authority who can take action.
Spread the word this week and don’t sit in silence.
For more info go to the Say No To Bullying page at Facebook.