Messages of Support Anti-Bullying Network
 
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The following messages of support have been received by the Anti-Bullying Network. We hope they provide some comfort to individuals experiencing bullying or to those living with the consequences of bullying. We have divided the messages into three sections - section one contains messages from pupils to pupils; section two contains messages from adults to pupils; and section three contains a general message.
     

Section 1

From a secondary pupil
I was bullied for 2 years and all it did was make me feel like nothing. Even my friends seemed to hate me. One girl I lived next door to started to pick on me as well. She'd bully me all day and then I'd have to go home on the bus with her pretending nothing was wrong. If you're being bullied just remember to keep your head held high and forget them all. They won't be there forever. And I promise you that it will get better - just hold on.

From a pupil in Scotland
If bulling is getting out of hand tell someone. It helps. I was bullied and I told my guidance teacher who then helped me through bullying. Now I help other people who get bullied. Bullies are just jealous. Here is a slogan for bullying:
Be Bold!
Be Big!
Be Strong!
Be You!

From a pupil outside Scotland/other UK
Bullying hurts people. The sad thing is the bullies know it, but if you tell someone they can help. Don't keep bullying secret. Do tell someone.

From a secondary pupil in Scotland
Bullying is wrong and it should be stopped. I am being bullied at my school and I told someone and they are doing everything they can to help me. I even started hurting myself but then I realised that it doesn't get you anywhere. I am going to get through it. It is hard but if I can do it so can you.

From a secondary pupil in Scotland
I think bullying is terrible. I was getting bullied at one stage and no-one was prepared to listen. Keep your head up.

From a pupil in the USA
If you are being bullied don't worry because there are people who can help you. I have been bullied and it is hard to cope with but you get through it somehow. Don't bully people even if you have been bullied because it just makes it worse. I hope you understand and that you will get through it just as I did and other people have done but it is very tough and it will feel very painful. So don't worry just ask for help.

From a student in the UK
There is a girl at my school who seems to enjoy bullying people. I've seen her bullying my friends as well as myself. I know what you're going through if you're being bullied. Here are some hints for anyone who's being bullied: stay strong and don't let the bully beat you even if you feel intimidated; face the bully and remember that the bully will just have a problem; and you and your friends should all stick up for each other, that way the bully will be defeated.

From a student in the USA
I've experienced bullying and it isn't fun. I was being bullied and I hit back and I got a three day suspension. If you're being bullied please don't respond with physical violence. Go tell an adult, friend or teacher. Let them handle it. No one has a right to bully you or bug you. You are beautiful no matter what anyone says.

Section 2

From an adult who was bullied
The worst bullying was from supposed friends and I find it very hard to trust people and I look for underlying reasons to what people say. For God's sake tell a teacher or someone if you feel like this and don't keep it inside. Deal with it early.

From an adult who was bullied at home and at school
If someone is so cruel or misguided as to bully you in the first place, it's no surprise that they might not own up to it. I've found that out time and again with so many of the 'friends' I then realised were just bullying me.

But my sense of worth does not have to reflect what they tell me, I can feel how I want to feel. If you're being bullied, it may be hard to accept that. You may feel so bad about yourself that you feel safer thinking that someone else will come along to save you (they MIGHT, but then again they might not).

Please believe me when I say that you have every right to feel how you feel and every right to speak out. You have every right to be who YOU want to be and you're a great person even when bullies are telling you otherwise.

From an adult who was bullied
I was bullied and tormented. I thought about my feelings towards the people who had bullied me. I did think that 'I can't and won't forgive'. Now I feel nothing but pity for them and I've decided that to hate someone for what happened in the past is stupid because the only person that gets hurt is me. I'm now moving on with my life. Sometimes I might see one of the people that treated me like dirt but I can now look them in the face and hold my head up high. I'd like to say to others that it's taken me 16 years to get to this state so don't ever give up or despair.

Section 3

From a pupil in Scotland
I have never been bullied and when it has been talked about in assemblies and things I have never really paid any attention although I always thought it was an absolutely horrible thing to do. However recently I have realised just how bad bullying is; it is a disgusting, mean thing and can easily devastate people's lives forever. So if you are like me and never listened to all the bullying talk then please take notice.

 

The photographs below were taken by Fiona Clark as part of a project called 'The Hidden Curriculum'.

In June 2005, Fiona graduated from the Glasgow School of Art with a First Class honours degree in Visual Communication Photography. She was also the recipient of the highest accolade of the art school, The Newbery Medal, awarded each year to one student whose final year work is recognised as being exceptional by the Director of the school and others.

Fiona Clark Photograph

The work which earned her this achievement, was a range of photographic projects dealing with various aspects of 'school' life. In particular, her project entitled 'The Hidden Curriculum' generated a great amount of interest due to its sensitive subject of 'bullying' in schools. For this project, she worked collaboratively with pupils to gain a greater understanding of the bullying taking place in schools. In an exercise often used by schools, she asked the pupils to colour-code maps of their school to show the areas where bullying takes place.

Fiona Clark Photograph

She then took this exercise one step further, by making photographic images of the areas highlighted in the mapping exercise; staircases; changing rooms; corridors; toilets. Using her talent as a photographer, she was able to represent this information visually in a book combining her powerful images alongside the informative maps. In many ways, the work is strengthened by its simplicity, yet it provides a visual resource which highlights the seriousness of the issue.

Fiona Clark Photograph

Fiona is keen for her work to be seen, and used as an educational resource in helping both children and adults to become aware of the bullying going on around them. She also believes it provides a great starter for discussions on the subject, and is an approach which could also be repeated by schools as a cross-curricular approach to highlighting the issue of bullying. As Fiona now commences her Post Graduate in teacher training, it is her hope to also continue her photographic work in schools to continue to highlight issues of importance in schools.

Fiona Clark Photograph

For further information on the work of Fiona Clark please contact her by email.