Two of our Year 9 students were invited to represent the school at the Anti-Bullying Conference as peer mentors. They were taken to this conference to gain the knowledge on how we could make our school a better place for our fellow students and to also gain a better understanding of hate crimes and how social media could impact lives negatively.
The first activity was conducted by Bullybusters and they took part to identify the differences between 3 individuals, however, the first thing we all acknowledged was the similarity, as all three individuals were victims of hate crime. There are many reasons in which someone can become a victim of hate crime, however the 3 main reasons we focused on during this activity were homophobia, racism and physical bullying. After this activity they all had the chance to take part in another activity which required them to be honest to ourselves and step forward if a question related to us. They loved this activity because although there were 32 other students in the hall they felt comfortable stepping forward because the facilitators made it a very safe environment for everyone. The staff were very vibrant and made everyone feel equal as some topics could be very personal to other including ourselves.
Subsequently, they got an amazing presentation from C.E.L.L.S which is an educational programme made for teens, C.E.L.L.S. stands for Choices Education Lifelong Learning Skills. They found this presentation very relevant to themselves and other teenagers across the UK because it made me understand what the consequences of crime are and that as teenagers we need to realise that we have CHOICES. They received a heartfelt story from a member of C.E.L.L.S., her name was Tory and she told us how verbal bullying affected her life. Tory showed us a before and after picture of her 10 years ago from now and explained to us how she was bullied for being a bit overweight compared to other people her age and she was able to express to us how she felt every time she was name called by others, and how she was not able to express herself to her teachers whom were meant to be safe adults for her to speak to.
Overall, it was an amazing experience and Peace and Gary, are very grateful for this unique opportunity.