By Harry Steel (U6, Xt)
Monday 16 - Friday 20 November saw the UK celebrate National Anti-Bullying Week, and Cheltenham College certainly played its part in raising awareness for anti-bullying and the #SaySomething campaign. To begin the week, Anti-Bullying and Peer Mentoring Prefect Harry Steel (U6, Xt), Anna Birkett (U6, A) and Deputy Head Boy Freddie Lyle (U6, S) gave talks in Chapel. Harry covered the new Level 1 Anti-Bullying Policy in school: if a problem is mentioned early, Housemasters and Housemistresses can mediate between pupils in the first instance, to find out what the issues are and if the pupils can settle any differences to improve their relationship in a relaxed and safe environment.
Freddie spoke to the school on the importance of sharing ones issues and struggles with peer mentors or staff in Houses, and how its crucial to say something should you see any form of bullying. Anna spoke on the issue of how banter or crude comments can have a really detrimental affect on someone’s day, even if the perpetrator thinks they are a joke. She excellently captivated Chapel with a story of her own experiences and now personal resilience.
The Dining Hall was a great place to raise awareness and remind people of the campaign this week. The catering department created a delicious and colourful display of cupcakes with the #SaySomething slogan spelt out on each cake. The Anti-Bullying Committee, with a representative in each House, then visited the Third and Fourth Form in their respective common rooms with drinks and snacks to talk about bullying. They mainly wanted to explain the new Level 1 policy and the importance of saying something; the evening also provided a great chance for the committee members to reiterate who the peer mentors are and their role. The relaxed setting meant the Sixth Formers could speak to the younger years freely, help raise awareness of the week, discourage bullying, and provide help and support if things go wrong. Bullying, in any form is simply not acceptable anywhere especially not in such a close knit community as College, and I really hope that whilst Anti-Bullying Week could never completely stop bullying on a national scale, it may encourage everyone to think about their actions, and the affect they have on others.