Posted by: l2bb | March 20, 2010

One girl’s story

I recently used the following YouTube video in my university classroom to build awareness about the nature and effects of bullying.  It is a poem written by Katherine Jones, a nine year old girl with Dyspraxia.

Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNbPf2Z_lTY

Dyspraxia is a pain

It doesn’t hurt

I don’t look different

You can’t see it … until…

Think about…

Why?

Why was she bullied?

Even if you don’t look different, if there is any sign of difference or what others may see as weakness you are at risk of being bullied.

What?

What actually happened?  What type of bullying occurred?

Relational bullying – teasing, exclusion – is just as harmful as any physical bullying.

Who?

It is not just children who bully other children.  Teachers can also bully their students.  It is essential for teachers to understand the strengths and difficulties of their students in order to avoid this.

Children who are struggling with the social, literacy or behavioural demands of school can experience teacher bullying in the form of being labelled as “lazy” or put in situations where they are humiliated in front of their peers.

The impact

Children can be comfortable in their own skin, their own uniqueness, if they experience a sense of belonging and support.  Without this, it can be a struggle to value their uniqueness, to have a sense of worth, to achieve to their potential.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Without food, shelter we feel vulnerable

Without physical and emotional safety, we are at risk

Of feeling isolated, alone

Helpless and ashamed

Unlikely to reach our potential

By Amanda Gray
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