From her first day at school Kristina was intimidated by and scared of the other kids. Two older girls especially delighted in making fun of Kristina, and encouraging others to avoid her.
But slowly Kristina made friends with two other girls, and her confidence grew a little over that first year at school. For her seventh birthday, Kristina’s mum wanted to give her a party, and all the girls in her class were invited. To Kristina’s surprise, everyone accepted her invitation.
The morning of the party, each of the girls in Kristina’s class – with the exception of her two friends – told their parents they didn’t feel well enough to go to the party. One by one, the parents rang Kristina’s mum, unaware that everyone else was doing the same.
The two older girls who had been relentlessly bullying her, had heard about the party and decided it would be funny if everyone said they were coming to Kristina’s party, but then for nobody to turn up.
Kristina was absolutely devastated by what had happened at her birthday party, and cried all day. No one could coax her out of her bedroom, and she refused to go to school the next day.
It took some time to get Kristina to talk about the bullying she had experienced since her first days at school. Her parents were really upset – and very angry. They contacted Kristina’s teacher to complain about her treatment.
The teacher was shocked to hear what was happening to Kristina in the schoolyard – that some older students looked for opportunities to bully Kristina on a daily basis.
And when the parents of Kristina’s schoolmates discovered the story of what had happened at her party, they were also dismayed and embarrassed.
Bullying can have a devastating effect on a child and can impact self-esteem, behaviour, and the ability to concentrate and perform at school. When it occurs over a long period, or is particularly vicious, bullying can contribute to serious mental health issues. The physical, psychological and emotional impact of violence on children is pervasive and can be lifelong and even intergenerational.
Children who show bullying behaviours are more likely to act out anti-social behaviour and commit criminal acts as they get older – with financial, psychological and emotional impacts that will affect all of us.
Better Buddies works to reduce bullying at schools, by teaching children the values of caring, friendliness, respect, valuing difference, including others and responsibility. Better Buddies helps create friendly and caring primary school communities where children feel safe and are encouraged to learn and participate in school life.
Our children face many challenges as they grow. Help us ensure they have the opportunity to be the best they can be, and not be bullied and shamed.
Please, help Australian children experience a school life free from bullying.
Help our children become Better Buddies and caring adults like you. Your support today will make a lasting difference now and in the future.
Thank you for your support. Your donation of $2 or more is tax deductible
Your generous donation will be pooled together with other supporters to help all of our programs where the need is greatest across the Foundation.
Subscribe to our newsletter below or visit our media centre for media information including media releases, spokespeople, publications and contacts.