SafeSchool – Promoting students’ engagement in the prevention of bullying in school is a project financed by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ program in Romania KA2- strategic partnership in the field of education aimed to support professionals in the field of education to participate to trainings and dedicated events and to apply in the classroom the instruments and the innovative methods created during the project implementation.
Students were involved as beneficiaries of the project to test the multimedia resources created during the project implementation and to freely have their own contributions for creating some of the materials, such as: Anti-Bullying Boardgame – What would you do, the book Blue and the Ash Tree and Tony’s story about Bullying (see Intellectual Output no.3).
“Tony’s story about Bullying” represents the creative written story based on a true bullying situation experienced by Cosmin, first year of high school. He wrote the story going back in time, on the period when he was 9 years old, pointing out that he wanted to make his voice heard and to encourage other children who find themselves bullied at school to take action. “One way to do that is by simply observing what is happening to you and then put yourself in the shoes of a character and start writing about what happens to that character. That character from your story will come up with many solutions on how you can fight against any unfair situation you might experience at school.” said Cosmin.
Let’s read the story. At the end of the story there is a short reflective moment for teachers or parents, respectively children. Enjoy!
Tony’s story about Bullying
Tony was a smart and happy boy. He was living in a house in the countryside with his parents and his grandmother. He liked to play football on the playground, which was not far away from his house with his best friend and neighbour, Yupi. Yupi was one year younger than him and he enjoyed very much spending time with Tony.
One day Tony’s parents reminded him about moving to another school. „Tony, school starts soon and you will go to the new school, in the city center. We discussed this with you, do you remember?” „Yes, I remember”, Tony replied. „This school has nothing to offer you, Tony, the new school is better” said his father. „But how will I go there everyday? asked Tony. „Sometimes we will offer you a ride by car, but most of the time, you’ll go by bus! It’s only 15 minutes by bus” his mother replied.
Tony was confused about what was going to come next in his life: new school, new people and a new teacher. He felt sad having to say goodbye to his colleagues, his actual teacher and his classroom! He spent one year studying there. Suddenly, he remembered how his grandmother was waiting for him after school with something sweet to eat.
It was the day of the new school year and Tony was accompanied by him mother. He had flowers for the new teacher. He offered her the flowers but he felt ashamed when he noticed his green stained hands from the walnuts he ate a few days ago. Now he felt sorry that he opened with his bare hands the green nut shells and although he tried to get rid of the green stains, nothing worked. His hands looked dirty.
Suddenly he felt relieved hearing the warm voice of the teacher. Miss Dana was very glad to receive the flowers! „Thank you Tony and welcome to your new class!”. While his mother was talking to the teacher, Tony went to meet the other children. They all seemed nice. After two hours they went back home and although Tony did not talk a lot as he used to, everybody felt satisfied at the end of the day. That evening, Tony played with Yupi. Yupi was still going to the same school in the village. “Will you come and visit us?” asked Yupi. “Yes, I will come, of course” said Tony. “Will you still have time to play now, if you go to another school?” asked Yupi, worried. “Yes, I will make time for you, Yupi!, don’t worry!” answered Tony! Tony scored his last goal and won the football match as usual! They both returned home in a good spirit.
Time was passing very slowly at the new school! Tony was sitting all day alone and nobody paid any attention to him! Even when he tried to approach any of his colleagues to ask something or to play, they ignored him. Tony was saying to himself: “I am the new student! It’s normal! Maybe tomorrow things will be better!”.
But no. In the next weeks, Tony was still invisible. The only invisible boy in the classroom! The situation got even worse. From all the group activities proposed by Miss Dana, Tony was the only one excluded. It was true that the actiivties were difficult for him. He was used to the easy ones in the old school where he was the first in his class. Now things were different. Tony had poor results at school. “I don’t know how to solve the tasks. Everyone is so smart. I am so stupid” said Tony to himself. Miss Dana was the only one with whom he could talk about what he was feeling. Miss Dana always supported him. “Don’t worry Tony, you will be able to do it one day! Don’t be disappointed! Work harder! Tony pointed out to the teacher his worries and shame for being the “new boy”- the only one who wasn’t integrated in the class. Miss Dana felt sorry for him.
One day the school organized a trip for the pupils to visit a new city. The bus stopped and they had lunch. Everybody took out his lunch snack. Tony took out 2 sandwiches and one bottle of water while the other children had chocolate bars, chips and juices. The group of the popular boys in the class started laughing at Tony: “your lunch snack is for poor people!” ! That moment Tony was extremely sad. He threw away all his food and did not eat anything all day. “Maybe now, you don’t have any reason to laugh”! said Tony with a lower voice.
Another day, the boys from the same group thought of giving everybody one nickname. Tony was called the slave. They used to say: I need a slave, come with me slave! They never called Tony by his real name. At least now they talk to me! Said Tony. He felt a little bit better than before as he was invited to join some of the games and activities.
After the second semester of school, Tony improved his grades and he started to be appreciated by some of his colleagues. Miss Dana always supported him. “Very good Tony! You are an inspiration for us! You had the worst grades and now you are becoming the best student in the class! Hahaha!” Well done, boy! The group of popular boys were still against him for no reason! That afternoon they played football at school. Tony loved to play football although he did not considered himself a good football player! He scored several times. His team applauded him. He was called “Messi”. Tony liked more this nickname than the old one. He was proud of himself that he could show to the others that he had some qualities, not only weak points.
Soon after this, they played again at school. Tony scored nicely and the match was almost over when at the end, he failed to score. His team lost the game. The boy from the popular group hit him hard in the nose. Tony’s nose was bleeding! Such a big punishment for failing to score a goal. Tony felt it was too much, but he hoped things would get better.
And things got better! Until the end of the school year, Tony became the first one in his class! He was good on all subjects! Most of his classmates liked him! And even the boys from the popular group invited him to play, to come at their birthdays and to go swimming together. Tony saw that these boys were like him. They had nothing special. But why have they been so angry and mean to him all these months? This was something that he could not understand! They were still laughing and teasing other colleagues, as they used to. But they stopped teasing him!
It was already summer holiday and Tony was happy to play again with Yupi! “Why didn’t you come outside to play during the school year, Tony, as you promised that you would?” asked Yupi. Oh, I am sorry, Yupi, I needed to study so hard to show my colleagues that I can be like them, replied Tony.
Right now Tony is starting first year of highschool. The only thing he regrets the most is not telling to his parents about what the bad situation he experienced in the second year of primary school. Not knowing how to express his feelings and emotions. Now he is aware that his parents could have supported him more if they had known what he was going through.
By Neagu Cosmin
First year of Highschool at Liceul Teoretic Carol I
Fetești, Romania, 2019
Time to think!
Parents and teachers are invited to debate and answer the following questions:
- What form of bullying was the one on the story?
- Who was affected?
- Who were the ones who bullied?
- How was the bullying problem solved at the end?
- Do you think that the teacher should have involved more?
- What about the parents?
- What could you do better for preventing the bullying problem?
- What could you do better to solve the bullying problem sooner?
- What is the situation in your school? Or in the school where your child goes to every day?
- Are there any bullying incidents? Do you think that you have enough resources to deal with the bullying phenomenon?
(Children are invited)
- What are Tony’s qualities?
- What scared Tony the most?
- Was Tony brave? Why?
- What would you do if you were Tony?
Thank you for reading! I hope you have enjoyed!