STOP BULLYING!

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We are a group of self-advocates and colleagues from around Ireland. We all have one thing in common. We want to stop bullying.

Some members of the Stop Bulling Group, from left: Bill Roberts, Nina Cohen, Kelley Johnson, Elizabeth Mannix, Stephen Curtis, Emer Keenan

We have been meeting regularly for six months. During that time we shared our stories of bullying. Helen Donnelly, one of our members, wrote a poem about her experience.

A BULLYING POEM — HELEN DONNELLY

IF I GET BULLIED I STAND UP
AND DEFEND MYSELF, PUT
MY HAND TO THE PERSON
IN FRONT AND SAY “BACK
OFF” A COUPLE OF TIMES.

SO THE PERSON WOULD
GET THE MESSAGE LOUD
AND CLEAR.
“LEAVE ME ALONE.”

IF A PERSON ASKS ME TO DO
SOMETHING I CAN’T DO, I
TURN AROUND AND FACE

THE BULLY AND SAY “NO
SPELLS NO”,WHICH MEANS
NO I WON’T DO WHAT YOU
ASK ME TO DO.

IF A PERSON TELLS ME HOW
TO ORGANISE MY LIFE FOR
ME, I LOOK AT THE BULLY
AND SAY NOT IN SUCH A
RUDE WAY. I WILL SORT OUT
THE WAY I WANT IT TO BE.

WHAT YOU’RE DOING
RIGHT HERE AND NOW.

Waiting at the Bus Stop: Role Play — Shane Byrne

I was slightly nervous before I started the role play. But I was ok when I got into the middle of the scene. I was standing waiting for the bus. I was just standing there minding my own business. Suddenly 3 women and a man confronted me: bullies. They called me names ‘specky 4 eyes, Blondie’. They said I couldn’t tie my shoelaces. They tried to take my bag, watch and phone.

I went into a corner. I told them to go away. I tried to hold onto my bag. In the end the 45 bus came along. They got on the bus. I was left standing there alone.

We looked for information about bullying but we found few resources that we
could use.
Self-advocates from Santry Hall told us about their campaign on bullying.
We decided to take action against bullying by having a workshop, which was very successful.

Planning the Workshop

We planned the workshop over several weeks. We decided that it was for self-advocates only.
We advertised it by email and by giving out flyers at the Inclusion Ireland Conference. 33 people came to the workshop. But there were over 100 people on a waiting list. Bullying is a big problem.
We made a role play. We organised speakers to come to the workshop: a parent, a support worker, a self-advocate and a member of the Gardaí (who did not come on the day!)
We organised coffee and lunches. We had music about bullying through the day.
What we did at the workshop We started by getting to know each other and what we wanted from the
workshop.
We talked about the rules for the day.
We watched a role play where a person was bullied at a bus stop.
People from Santry Hall talked about bullying and how they tried to stop it. They showed us a DVD they had made. We talked about different kinds of bullying, like being hit or punched, being called names or having your things taken.
After a break we shared stories about bullying. Some people found this hard. On the next page are some of the stories people told.

Some stories of bullying

I was bullied on the bus. The driver yelled at me and called me names because I had a companion pass.
I had my lunches taken.

I was bullied when I went horseriding.
I was yelled at on the street.
I was yelled at when I went swimming.
When I was fourteen years old at school I was called names: ‘Specky four-eyes’, and the staff did nothing.
People called me names on the bus. They shouted ‘Get off the bus’.
I was at school. I was hit, the staff did nothing.
I was bullied in my house. They threw cups at me. I told the people in charge and I moved to a new house.
I was bullied in school. One person called me names and spread rumours. My friends turned against me because of one person. I told the teacher and it stopped.

After lunch we heard from a panel of speakers about what we could do about bullying.

We heard that it was important to have someone on the staff to whom you could talk in private about bullying.
We heard that sometimes parents feel bullied by services, and sometimes by their children.
We heard that it was important to speak up for ourselves.
Then we talked in groups about what we thought should happen to stop bullying. At the end of the workshop, Helen Donnelly read her poem and two people from Santry Hall sang their anti-bullying song.

What we thought should happen about bullying
  • Anti-bullying should be in the constitution.
  • The bully has the power, but we have the power to stop it.
  • Speak up.
  • Get help from staff (whoever is in charge).
  • Report it.
  • Tell bullies to stop it.
  • Stand up for your rights
  • Complain about it.
  • Tell someone if you are being bullied
  • Set up a support group or committee
  • Employ a qualified support worker to deal with bullying.
What should we do next?

We met and talked about the workshop. People had filled in evaluation forms and they told us that the workshop was very useful.
We talked about how we felt about the workshop: what we did well and what could have been better. Some of the comments from the Anti-bullying Group are below.

What the Anti Bullying Working Group said about the workshop:

It was a good thing that support staff didn’t say anything.
It was great that people got a chance to say their bit.
A pity about the Garda who didn’t come.
It was my first time at a workshop and I thought it was brilliant
We are planning to do more workshops in the future.
We would like to talk to school groups about bullying.
We want to talk with the Gardaí about what they can do about bullying.
We want to have complaint cards in the buses.
We are writing to Dublin Bus to talk with them about how bullying might be stopped on the buses.
We want more people to join the Anti-bullying Group.
We need money to help us to take this further-
People’s pages

If you would like to know more about us, would like to join the group or have ideas about how we can raise some money to support our work, please contact Stephen Curtis tel: (01) 8962174 or email him on curtisr@tcd.ie

Help if you are bullied
Here are some people or organisations that might be able to help if you are being bullied.
Inclusion Ireland, tel: (01) 8859891
Comhairle/Citizens Information Board, tel: (01) 6059000
Citizens Information Centre, 1890-777121

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