Story ten – Michael Carr Gregg, Australian Psychologist & Foundation NCAB Member
“Hannah was bullied every day of her school life. She was called ‘fat’, ‘ugly’, ‘stupid’ and ‘retard’.
On the last day of school, in a scene reminiscent of the movie Mean Girls, she read a speech that told her peers of the impact their bullying had on her. By the end of it, many teachers and students were crying. In her speech, Hannah said ‘When going to school, I should be learning new things and achieving my goals instead of getting bullied and feeling unsafe at school.’ She urged her peers to ‘Learn to have a bit of respect for others. People actually take their own lives over bullying.’
Hannah decided to tell her story in a bid to convince teachers and parents to provide more support to young people who are bullied. She felt the teachers at her high school didn't do enough to stop bullying behaviours. Every day brought a fresh humiliation and every night the harassment would continue via text and Facebook.
As a psychologist specialising in children and adolescents’ mental health, I hear stories like this all too often. I believe that schools have a legal responsibility to ensure that all students can learn safely so that the Hannah’s of this world don’t have to endure any humiliation. When students stand up in school assemblies it should be to praise their school and their friends for giving them such a great start in life.”
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