The issue of bullying is close to my heart, formerly on the receiving end of it at school (I don't like the term 'victim'), and having seen it at close hand as an adult.
I don't like it, simple. A bully is a coward and often driven by jealousy or a MASSIVE streak of self-innadequacy. Although its a bit pat to say it, once you realise that, it can be possible to regain control.
The advance of the cyber revolution however has spawned bullying in a new form, a stealthy one, all the more sinister for it's ability to remain anonymous. As I said: cowards.
'Cyber-bullying' is on the increase, and can take the form of internet posts, emails, or malicious text messages. It's a different animal that you can't simply grab by the collar and yank off to detention.
Richmond Council are launching a new campaign designed to raise awareness of this modern head-down-the-toilet, and are inviting young people between the ages of 5 and 18 to submit films, stories, poems, songs, sketches, and even animation, promoting awareness of how to stay safe on the internet and when using mobile phones.
It's a fantastic opportunity for youngsters to showcase their creative abilities, or express their own take on the problem.
There's loads of ways to join in: for more information check out www.antibullying.richmond.lgfl.net
All entries need to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or given to a teacher or youth worker. The closing date is 27 November 2009. There are also prizes for second and third place.
Silas Van Der Bas
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