Sunday 17 May 2015


Reader JJ opens up about what it's like to be caught up in a group bullying situation in this chilling post…

JJ says:
When Sara  started at our school, she seemed nice… pretty and clever and a bit different from the usual. She'd lived in London and her life sounded very cool and interesting. I liked her, but maybe she was fitting in too well because soon the others began to bitch about her, saying she was stuck up and vain. My friend Taz was really put out by Sara - she was jealous, and her snippy little comments began to turn everything sour. She thought Sara was a liar, and the more she went on about it the more it seemed that some of the things Sara was saying didn't add up. I felt sorry for Sara, but I didn't want to lose my friends, so I went along with it.

Soon it was our main pastime, picking on Sara. She withdrew and became a bit of a loner, but Taz was enjoying the hate campaign too much to stop. Sara just took it… she was quiet and never answered back. Her face just sort of closed down and I wondered if she had been bullied before. She acted like a victim, and in a horrible way that made it easier to pick on her. If she had challenged us, maybe we'd have stopped… or maybe not. When Sara stopped coming to school, we went on her Instagram and posted nasty messages, I mean really nasty. I don't like to think of it now, but I was a part of it, even though I knew it was wrong.

It stopped when we were all called to see the Year Head. Sara had told her parents about the bullying and we were all in massive trouble. Our parents were called in and we were pulled off the school exchange to France we'd been due to go on. It's a black mark on my school career I can never wipe clean. Sara never came back to school. She had been bullied before, and Taz was right, a lot of the things she had told us weren't true, but I knew in my heart she'd only lied to try and be accepted. We could have been her friends, and instead we tormented her. We probably destroyed her confidence and hurt her loads. I know that what we did was cruel and I can't believe I went along with it. I will never forgive myself.

All names have been changed.

Awesome illustration by reader Millie - such a powerful message. Thank you!

Cathy says:
It's hard to read JJ's account of bullying from the bully's viewpoint. Do you think JJ could have acted differently? Would YOU have dared to go against your friends? COMMENT BELOW to have your say.


  1. I would like to think I'd have the courage to go against a bullying friend, but the only version of me that could do it is the one that exists now. Past me would never have the confidence. We feel like we can't stop bullying, either because we're scared we'll be targeted too, or because we'll lose friends. Teenagers just don't have the confidence to do what they know is right...teachers tell us that peer pressure is your friends trying to get you to smoke and stuff like that, but it's not; it's saying no to the harmful people and having the courage to cut them out of out lives. We feel like we are losing an amazing friend, but we're not. Why? Because bullies do not make good friends with anyone. Trust me, if your friend can laugh at that shy girl who's always reading, or the girl who has no interest in boyfriends, or the girl who just wants to fit in, SHE CAN DO IT TO YOU TOO.

  2. It's interesting to hear from JJ's perspective. I think if I had never been a victim, I would have gone along with the bullying.
    But it's good that it all stopped... I wouldn't want to know what might happen to Sara if it didn't.

  3. I think, being a victim of bullying, JJ should've stood up to her friends. This story made me feel sad and slightly angry... I have nothing against JJ but the fact that she knew it was wrong but still did it anyway isn't right... Even with the amount of peer pressure that was on her...
    I'm sorry..

  4. Thank you for posting that thats so powerful ive been bullied and it hurt thanx 4 putting it up ur really brave

  5. I think that JJ was probably scared of going against her friend Taz, as she might've got teased for sticking up for Sara and her lies. Though bullying still has its consequences you've got to watch out for, so it's worth not sticking up with the bully, but actually helping the victim.

    By the way, brilliant illustration Millie! Like Cathy said, it definitely portrays such a powerful message!

  6. I feel sorry for JJ. It's so easy to get dragged into situations until you're in too deep and you don't know how to get out. By the time she realised it wasn't just a bit of fun, it was too far gone. It's also really difficult to disagree with your friends. People don't like to think badly of people they care about so they try and justify it to themselves and tell themselves it's OK because their friends are good people. Furthermore, in a situation like this, where you've seen how cruel your friends can don't WANT to get out. If you do, you could be on the receiving end of their comments and taunts. So, as a method of self preservation, you join in. Then they won't turn on you like a pack of hyenas.
    I think it's more difficult to recover from being a bully than from being bullied. If you're bullied, it is possible to rebuild your self esteem and you know - and will constantly be reassured - that it wasn't your fault and that you are a good person. If you were a bully, there's no one there for you. No one will want to reassure you. You'll be crippled with guilt and regret and you have to fight through it yourself because people aren't quite so understanding. It's sad because the reason people dislike bullying is because it shows the amount of hatred there is in this world. It doesn't seem right to pour more hatred on top of that by tarring everyone who has ever bullied with the same brush. Yes, there are some genuinely horrible people in the world but there's also people who bully due to problems of their own, illnesses, retaliation to previous bullying or pressure from friends. It's not right to say every bully is a pathetic coward who doesn't deserve happiness. How will that help end bullying? Isn't it bullying in itself?

  7. I know it's hard when you have a bully as a friend to stand up to them, for fear of the bullying turning on you, but it's still not an excuse to continue. I know the situation can escalate quickly, and become like a rollercoaster going down a steep hill, and catch you up, but you are still responsible for your own actions.

    Bullying does more damage then you realise, and Sara will probably suffer the after effects for the rest of her life.

  8. Sometimes going along with the crowd isn't the right option Hamdi:)xox



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