Sunday, 11 May 2014

REMEMBERING IZZY...

Reader Stephanie writes about how a school project opened her eyes to why we all need to take bullying a lot more seriously; it can kill...

Stephanie says:
Izzy Dix (pictured below) was a bright fourteen year old girl from Devon. She'd lived in Australia from the age of three and at eleven she moved back to the UK with her mum. Izzy was intelligent and her future was looking very bright indeed. Then things began to go wrong; the pupils at Izzy's new school began to tease her and make fun of her Australian accent and her achievements in school. She was targeted in school and also online, and as the bullying got steadily worse, she was told she wasn't wanted and that she shouldn't even be alive.
On 17th September 2013, Izzy took her own life; the bullying had all become too much. A coroner recorded her death as suicide, and said that she had experienced 'significant personal and emotional turmoil.' Izzy's death had a profound effect on her mum, Gabbi, but also on the bullies themselves.

I found Izzy's story while researching an idea for a drama piece to go towards my BTEC in Performing Arts, and I knew I had found a story that would have a big impact on others and show them how much damage bullying can do. Before her death, Izzy wrote a poem called 'I Give Up' expressing her pain; it's heartbreaking.

My drama piece was quite sad to perform, as Izzy's death was on all of our minds. It was a reality check on the fact that bullying happens every day, and that sometimes the outcome can be suicide; and that all of this could be prevented. In the drama piece, I played the part of Izzy's mum, which gave me a different perspective on the how suicide can affect other people. This certainly came through at the end when we got feedback from the audience; one of the parents watching said they would never have fully understood what can drive people to take their own life without watching the performance. I feel it gave out a very strong message... I was so glad I'd found and researched the story and been able to bring it to other people.

After Izzy's death, her mum Gabbi set up a petition to get the UK government to close Ask.fm, a website where people ask questions which are answered anonymously; the site is a beehive for bullies and other teen suicides have been linked to it. Stamping out bullying has got to be a priority for our generation; we need to get angry, we need to change things. If enough of us care, then one day in the future, perhaps bullying will finally be a thing of the past.

Do you agree that bullying needs to stop, and that sites like Ask.fm which protect bullies should be closed down? COMMENT BELOW to have your say...

23 comments:

  1. I think we all need to take a stand against bullying... I know a 15 year old girl who has written a song to raise awareness for bullying, you can find it on Youtube: Nakita Turner - One Voice

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    1. Thank you - I will try to find it.
      xxx

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  2. I think that izzys story is very sad and that sites like ask.fm should be allowed to help.

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    1. Amy, anonymous sites like Ask.fm are part of the problem - they take no responsibility for the hate comments posted anonymously on them. Ask.fm has been linked to several teen suicides. I believe they should be closed down, or have the anonymity removed.
      xxx

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    2. Cathy, I didn't really know what ask.fm was but I looked into it and I agree that they should be shut down.

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  3. Yes,I agree. Bullying should be stopped and sites regarding bullies should be closed down. Bullies should also be tamed and not allowed to bring harm to others.

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  4. Oh my God, this is soooo sad, but I still don't get why you would take your own life. It was a gift from God and then destroying it yourself ........ I don't get it :(

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    1. I think it's hard for us to imagine having so much pain and hurt in your life that it seems impossible to go on, but that pain is very real for many people. We need to reach out a helping hand to those in trouble and work together to stop the bullying culture.
      xxx

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    2. Me again, Thanks for the advice Cathy,
      Emma :)

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  5. It's so horrible that bullies can make you feel like life isn't worth living. One of the worst things is that bullies don't realise what they cause is that dangerous. Ask.fm will probably not shut down (which they should) but they should at least put on some privacy settings! We have the right to enjoy life- do something worth writing or write something worth reading!
    Once again, bullying needs to stop!
    Miriam
    x

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  6. I have been a victim of bullying when I was younger, but fortunately my school were able to stop it almost immediately, so I was lucky in that respect. Still, I do vaguely know what it's like to feel unwanted, so I can empathize with those people who are bullied. Bullying is horrible, and should be stopped, but the problem is, there are so many sites available where bullying is so easy to do. If we work hard then over time bullying may be eradicated, and schools may have better systems.

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  7. Could the drama piece tour schools?

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    1. Wow, Susan... that is an amazing idea. I wonder if Stephanie could contact Izzy's mother with this idea? Even just the script would be an amazing learning tool for PSE lessons. Genius, Susan. xxx

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  8. See? This is what bullying does to people! Why can't bulllies ever understand that their mutated pleasure crushes the souls of their victims? It's just so sinister!!!!

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  9. So sad. I'm not sure what the answer is - so often bullies are bullying because of their own self esteem issues or because they don't want to be the victim of a bigger bully - absolutely heart breaking for everyone involved, thank you for sharing.
    I wonder if you could get in touch with a theatre in education group about using the script - that kind of outreach really does seem to help xxx

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  10. Hi, here is what one girl in New Zealand is doing. Fantastic to see young people wanting to make a change!
    She is starting a movement against bullying called One Voice. http://onevoice.net.nz/#sthash.Wp5TBso0.dpbs

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  11. Oh, such a sad story! I can´t even understand, why the bullies did it...Everybody´s original, and it´s originality what makes us perfect! I feel really sorry for both, Izzy and her mum. I wish I could help Izzy somehow. Maybe good friend was all she needed :(

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  12. I live in Australia, so I feel even more upset that she was bullied because of her accent...

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  13. When you tease someone or poke fun at them, you don't know how much they're hurting inside. Someone else could be bullying them and all that hurt bunches up and explodes inside them. This story is so sad, but it teaches people how severe bullying can be. So think twice when calling someone a name, because it may mean nothing to you, but it means a whole lot to them.

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  14. This is such a sad story and to think that bullying lead to this its just disgraceful. I don't know how anyone can bully someone that much and thinking bout it makes me cry:(. Can't bullies see what there doing? I think its horrible and I just wish bullying stopped. I think anyone needs to be reminded to think before they act/speak.:(Hamdi:)xxx

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  15. This might seem mean but... you don't really understand what its like to be bullied. I was bullied for 8 years non stop. It does a lot more than hurt

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    1. I'm not sure who you are talking to, Anon? Several of the people posting here have been bullied, and some of us are working hard to try to end bullying; Stephanie, whose post this is, is doing a great job of raising awareness with her drama piece. Surely the post shows that bullying doesn't just hurt, it can kill? I am not sure why you seem upset with the post and the comments when all we want to do is challenge and stop bullying? I know first hand that bullying can ruin lives and that is why I write about it in my books and post about it on the blog, as well as work with anti-bullying groups to try to make practical changes. Isn't that better than turning a blind eye and pretending it doesn't happen? I am not trying to upset you but feel hurt that our attempts to raise awareness seem to have annoyed you? xxx

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