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To Sam

Trapped...

Hey, Sam.

My situation is unfortunetly due to religion and bullying. You see, I go to a Christian school, and I'm an Atheist. Ever since they found out, I've been constantly bullied for the basic facts I was an atheist. Eventually, I got into a religious debate, and he attacked me. I responded, and sent him to hospital... I realised the huge mistake I made, but I'm completely shunned by everyone there. My parents was extremely forgiving, but it was no Vail. I'm afraid that for the next year, I will be feared, shunned and continued to be bullied by pupils and teachers alike due to my beliefs. I can't move schools and talking to the headmaster was no help.

I'm running out of options... And possibly time...

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Thank you for being brave enough to write to me. I can see that things at school have been difficult for you since people found out you that you are an atheist. Things got out of hand when you were attacked, and you responded in a way that you now regret. It’s always okay to defend yourself but it sounds like this just caused more problems for you now.

No one at school should bully you for what happened, not teachers or other students. You have the right to your beliefs, as they also have the right to have theirs. I can see that you spoke to the headmaster and didn’t find it helpful before, but next term will begin a new school year and time for a fresh start.

Your parents sound supportive, and maybe they can help you by talking to the head with you before school starts. If this does not work, the school governors are in place to help get these kinds of situations sorted. Along with your parents you could ask the governors to help you return to school with the minimum of fuss. Contact details of the governors may be available on the school website or in the year book.

You can help with this by working with the school to change the reputation you have got since this happened. Everyone deserves a second chance, and maybe you could offer to help school stamp bullying out in some way. This could be by reporting things you see, or offering to become a buddy to people who are suffering bullying.

One idea to help change things at school could be to start an after school club for talking about religion and beliefs in a safe and friendly way. This might give people the chance to understand more about your atheism and why you don’t believe, but in a safe environment. It may also mean you get to meet more atheists who could be at your school but aren’t feeling able to speak out.

Hope this helps. If you need to talk more you can contact a ChildLine counsellor at any time. You can call them on 0800 1111, log on for a 1-2-1 chat or send an email.

Take care,
Sam     

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