Rikki had been hurt both physically and emotionally on school property and during school hours. YouTube videos circling the internet threatening to harm him at school, restrained and kicked down, changes of behavior, sudden onset of anxiety attacks and many other experiences and side effects that I have chosen to keep private and leave for Rikki to share when and if he ever feels willing and ready.
With a lengthy time of dealing with bullying we decided to removed Rikki from the school to provide a fresh and positive start after taking him to the doctors and being told that he was suffering from anxiety and PTSD in relation to the trauma of school bullying.
But before leaving a school that he no longer felt safe in, Rikki had the courage to have his last say.Once we knew he was going to attended a new school we kept him home for the rest of the year. We felt that he had endured enough this year and wanted to remove him from such a harmful and toxic environment. On the last day of school, we went with Rikki to pick-up his belongings before the bell rang to start the school day. As he said his final goodbyes to his friends he handed his teacher this letter that he wrote in hopes that she would read it to the class. We are still managing the side effects of his trauma but he has come a long way and we are very proud of him.
Read the letter Rikki courageously wrote to his school below:
My name is Rikki and I am here to talk to you about bullying.
At this school I have noticed that there is a lot of bullying. A lot of people don’t tell the teachers anymore because they are too scared to.
Bullying doesn’t just happen at our school, it happens at other places too and people are getting bullied all over the world, even adults!
I have been bullied at this school and this term has been the hardest for me.
For those of you who don’t understand what bullying is then let me tell you.
Bullying is when people are mean to you over and over again. Bullying doesn’t have to only be someone hitting you, bullying is also when someone says mean things to hurt you on purpose or when they pick on you a lot for something that you’re not that good at instead of helping you.
People bully sometimes because they are envious of you, they do it because they are struggling with something in their own lives and they take their anger out on other people.
A lot of the bullies think its cool to pick on someone, but I think bullying is the uncoolest thing a person can do. Being cool isn’t being mean, being cool is helping and encouraging other people to be their best.
My mum told me that bullies might act tough but they are the ones who are having a hard time. A bully isn’t strong. A bully is a person who is actually weak and a person who needs to bring others down so they can bring themselves up. A bully is someone who actually needs help as well as the person being bullied.
I think it’s important that when we see someone getting bullied or if we are being bullied that we tell someone about it and if your teacher doesn’t listen, make sure you go to your mum or dad or another adult who you trust.
I didn’t tell someone for a long time because even when I did the teachers didn’t help and when the kids found out that I told on them they would get even worse. I started to feel embarrassed. I started to change a lot and I was really upset with how I was changing.
I realised not too long ago that speaking about my problems with my parents and someone I trusted was hard and sometimes even embarrassing but it actually makes you feel better and it makes you feel less alone. When you speak to someone about how you feel sometimes they can help you too.
I think it’s important that our teachers help us kids too. Sometimes they don’t take us seriously. I hope my letter helps everyone realise that it is very scary to feel unsafe at school.
Bullying is not cool, it’s not funny and it won’t make you look tough.
So to my class mates.
Please remember to be strong. Ask for help when you need it and speak to someone you trust when you are going through a hard time. If you think someone is having a bad day ask them if they are okay and be there to support them. Tell someone if you are being bullied or if you see someone else getting bullied.
To anyone who is getting bullied please remember this….
Your bully is the one with the problem, not you!
From Rikki .
If you would like to read a short letter I wrote for Rikki when he graduated year 6, head over to Instagram to have a read HERE