Students at Glenmoor & Winton Academies share why anti-bullying matters to them, and how our #FreeTheShoulders workshops have impacted their school.
In February 2023, we visited Glenmoor & Winton Academies to hear from their students and teachers on how our #FreeTheShoulders workshops have impacted their school’s approach to anti-bullying.
We spoke to a variety of students from Years 7 – 11, all who had very insightful stories to tell.
Sadly, I’ve experienced bullying along with some of my close friends. I’d say I’ve been traumatised by it. It degraded my personality and made me feel ‘less human’. School started to go downhill for me, and my attendance suffered. If I had to describe how it made me feel inside - it turns you to dust. Fortunately, I come from a very supportive family and, once I spoke out, they united with my teachers and other friends to put a stop to it.
Working on anti-bullying initiatives with school has given me the power to speak out. I feel I now have the personal conviction to stop it. More importantly, it’s so good to know I’m making a difference to others in a similar situation and inspiring them to use their free will to speak out. The anti-bullying resources give so much important information including an awareness of what bullying is and how it affects people. This matters to me as I’ve experienced it first-hand, and I know just how detrimental it can be. I don’t want anyone to go through what I did.
Everyone should feel comfortable and enjoy their life.
My advice to anyone is don’t forget you’re not alone. Other people have experienced it. Embrace who you are and be your true self. Lastly, don’t suffer in silence - ask for help.
I haven’t personally experienced bullying, but I have seen happen to some of my peers. It made me feel angry and upset. How can people think it’s ok to bully others? I knew I had to do something. I went to speak to the head of anti-bullying and the situation was quickly resolved and my friend came into school feeling much more confident and safer. The issue of anti-bullying really matters to me as it can stop people feeling safe coming into school.
The anti-bullying workshops are a really good way to learn more about bullying behaviour, how to resolve problems and be an Upstander and help people who have experienced bullying behaviours. I think it’s really important to learn what bullying is and where to go to get help. As a result of the workshops, I feel closer to my peers too.
My advice to anyone experiencing bullying is to speak out to someone you trust.
I think it’s so important to tackle bullying in school at an early age. Sometimes people might not realise the massive impact it can have on mental health. This isn’t just when you’re young - the impact can continue throughout your life.
I’ve never been bullied myself, but I’ve seen others experience it. It made me feel bad. I think it’s so important to speak up for others who are being bullied as they might not feel confident or brave enough to speak out. I think appearance-based bullying is one of the worst. You can’t change the way you look.
My advice to anyone experiencing bullying is don’t say something rude back to the bully, try and stick up for yourself and tell someone you trust.
I haven’t experienced bullying, but I can imagine what it could feel like as I’ve sometimes felt left out. I think appearance-based bullying makes people feel less confident to go out and express who they are. When I’m in situations like that I talk to my parents who help with solutions.
Anti-bullying matters to me because don’t want anyone to feel lonely or scared and I want people to know they’ve got someone to talk to.
My advice to anyone whose being bullied is to speak to a teacher, a trusted adult or a friend.
I have experienced bullying and it’s not a good feeling. At the time you don’t know what to do. I spoke to my friends, and they helped. The most important thing is to speak out - my friends helped a lot.
The main thing I learnt from the workshops was to label my emotions. I now understand more about bullying and the impact it has on people. Appearance based bullying can be particularly hard as you could feel like you’re trapped in your own body.
Tackling bullying matters to me as it opens the student’s eyes to see the issue and the impact it has on others. It’s so important. You never really know what a person is going through and I think it’s good to be kind to others.
My advice to anyone being bullied is to look for the people who care about you and ask for help. Remember you’re perfect the way you are.
I have experienced bullying. When it was happening, it made me feel like no-one was there for me. I first spoke to my parents and then my teachers and the situation was resolved. Anti-bullying matters to me because I feel it really helps with school life if you have a positive mindset. Poor mental health can really affect your life. It can mean you don’t want to come to school. Being bullied because of the way you look can make people feel they need to look a certain way and compare themselves to others.
Learning about bullying through the workshops really helps everyone in the school know how to deal with bullying. I learnt so much.
My advice to anyone who is being bullied is to always speak up and share how you’re feeling.
Josh, 15yrs (Head Boy) and Amy, 15yrs (Head Girl)
Having a strong and clear anti-bullying policy in school is really important - it gives teachers a framework and makes students feel comfortable.
Students know they’re protected and have somewhere to go for help.
Since joining the #FreeTheShoulders campaign we’ve introduced student leaders in Year 10.
There’s more understanding on how to deal with bullying and what to look for.
Students know there’s support but also consequences for bullying.
Josh: Tackling bullying matters to me because it means I can come to school without fear of being bullied and the same goes for my friends. For my school it’s important that everyone is respected for who they are and feel safe.
Amy: I’ve experienced bullying and I know it causes mental health issues and makes people feel isolated - it can also have a wider impact on society.
Josh: In my friendship group I’ve witnessed bullying and I can see how it makes them feel.
Amy: My advice to anyone is to not be afraid to speak up to someone you trust. You’re not alone.
Josh: My advice is please help your friends and don’t sit on the side-lines.
In partnership with Head & Shoulders, we’re on a mission to educate 1 million young people, families, and teachers on how to fight bullying, eliminate cultural stigmas and make school a more positive place for all. Find out more about our #FreeTheShoulders campaign here.