The Anti Bullying Ambassador training day that I attended was on Wednesday the 13th of February at Kenton school, in Newcastle. I was inspired to take part in this magnificent cause because of a friend, whose story I told in detail in my previous article, Anxiety And Children, who suffers from multiple anxieties. Anti-bullying means a lot to me and many other people, like the team from the Diana Award. One of the staff members there to train us phrased their goal perfectly: ‘I’m really excited to be here to empower you guys.’

Please note that this is not the official training, it is an outline of how the Diana Award helps those affected by bullying. Click here to find out more.  

Activities

We took part in many different games and activities like ‘would you rather’ and ‘stand up if’. ‘Stand up if’ was a simple game consisting of one rule: stand up if the statement given is true about you. The first and second rounds were simple questions. The third round was “Stand up if you are confident,” and to this we all stood up. In the final round, we were simply asked, “Stand up if you have ever been bullied”; unfortunately, most of the group stood up. This troubling revelation highlighted our reason for being there: to make sure that next time someone asks a group of kids if they’ve ever been bullied, no one will say yes.

Social media: Good or bad?

When asked if social media is a positive apparatus or a negative, the room was equally split in opinion: on the one hand, social media offers the joy of connectivity all over the world – allowing family and friends, penpals, to communicate through the internet. On the other hand, social media gives cyberbullies more platforms to manipulate, the chance to troll, catfish, expose, stalk and denigrate; it offers a solid mask to hide behind to bully their victims. One child said “the bullies can’t even look someone in the eyes when they say hurtful things.”.

Cyber quiz:

For the quiz, each of the tables had a a set of ‘A, B, C’ cards, which would be held up according to which answer the group supports.

1. Whose responsibility is the biggest to stop bullying? A- staff B- students C-head teacher?

Actually, the answer is D, everyone.

2. What was the NSPCC recorded percentage of cyberbullying in the last 5 years? A- 88% B- 56% C-24%?

A, 88%- and that was only the percentage that was actually recorded.

3. How many minutes per school day do children spend on phones or mobile devices on average? A-90 B-152 C-188?

C, 188 minutes- that’s about half of the school day spent on games and social media!

True or False

Then, we played ‘true or false’; we stood by the sign we thought appropriate to the statement given:

  1. Cyber bullying is illegal – True
  2. 30% of 13 to 17 year olds have witnessed nude images posted by their friends – False; actually, the correct figure was 51%.
  3. More people facing bullying face cyber bullying than direct bullying -False; 9 out of 10 people who face cyber bullying also face direct bullying.

Parachute

Now, the band of students gathered around a parachute. Rather like “Stand up if”, if the statement was true about ourselves, we run under the parachute. The first few comments were things like, “I have brown hair,” or, “I have a coat on,” describing appearance. Then, we were asked to say something about ourselves that no one could guess by looking at us: things like, “I like to sing,” or, “I like to cook,”.

The moral of this activity was that bullies judge people by their looks; the point of it was to highlight the importance of, as the saying goes, not judging a book by its cover.