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To Sam

Bullying in sports and at school

Dear Sam, I‘m always the one no one likes. Even on the first day of the year, I was always the centre of hate. They wouldn’t even greet me or sit by me. The teachers give me fake foot long smiles and bad looks. The other students don’t get that treatment. I tried reaching out to my family. They didn‘t really listen. They also shoved me in the halls, beat me up with Cricket sticks and basketballs. I was excluded when we played American football and kicked in the head when we played football. The coach looked and laughed, but punished me with five extra laps. They also use death threats( like putting me in a concentration camp, gassing me, ect.) I told a consuler and she didn’t listen. She said I was complaining and making stories( not one from childline, one from somewhere else). Then the students said “We don’t hate you because your Jewish, we hate you because your you". I just ignore them, but it is becoming difficult. Even in the city and at the playground, they exclude me and make fun of me. I don’t even know those children. They make fun of me being skinny, short, dark curly hair, and they say that my mum and dad made a big mistake. I feel like I’m my only friend. I just want to be accepted and supported for who I am. Sincerely, The Lonely Student

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Bullying is never okay and it can happen in lots of different ways and for lots of reasons. It's never your fault if you're being bullied. No matter what happens, you have a right to feel safe at school and outside of school. It can take time for bullying to stop but don't give up, there are people who’re on your side and want to help.

Playing sport can be exciting and fun, but there can be a lot of pressure as well. You won't always be the best at every sport and there might be times you have to play something that you aren't very good at. Sometimes it can be stressful when playing team sports as you might not want to let the team down - which might make you more stressed and anxious.

If someone’s bullying when you're playing sports, it's important to tell someone about it. Sport is supposed to be fun but if there are people who’re making you feel bad about yourself then this isn't okay. You did the right thing telling the coach - but if the person you’ve told doesn't react in the way you hoped, you should tell another adult you trust. Schools usually have a lot of different teachers and so if your coach isn’t giving you the support you need, it's important to find someone who’ll listen to you and help you.

The bullying you're facing because of your race, culture and heritage is wrong. Making jokes about concentration camps when you’re Jewish is a hate crime, and your school should take this seriously. I can understand how difficult it might be to tell someone after your counsellor didn't listen but don't give up. It’s your teachers’ and coach’s job to keep every child in their care safe – and that includes from bullying. Try speaking with another teacher or adult that you feel comfortable with. Childline has some advice to help about talking to an adult you trust.

Telling someone about the bullying is a difficult step to take. To make it easier you could write a journal about your experiences: every time someone says or does something that hurts you, write it down. Keep a note of who did what, where you were when it happened, the date and how it made you feel. Write down when you tell people about it and what they did to help. Having a journal like this can help you to show someone what's happening without having to explain it all. Childline has lots of advice about racist and religious bullying, and about dealing with bullying. Their Bounce Back From Bullying game can also help you boost your confidence after someone has upset you.

If you need to talk, Childline counsellors are always here for you. They’ll be able to listen and support you whilst also helping you decide how to take steps to make things change. You can also reach out to other young people on the message boards for advice and support.

I hope this letter has helped, thanks for sharing this with me.

Take care,

Sam

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