Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

A Youth Sports Blog

Archive for April 25th, 2009

Bully for you

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bully_frontcoverYou think being a big-time teenage sports star makes you immune from bullying? Think again.

Tom Daley, 14, a British diver who competed in the 2008 Olympics, and his family say he is likely to change schools because of bullying. He says it’s not “high-level” but that “everyone is doing it.”

From the BBC:

Tom said: “It’s not getting to me, as in the words are upsetting me, it’s just the fact that I can’t have a normal school life like everybody else.

“It’s not high-level bullying, just name calling, someone chucking a bit of paper at you, tipping your pencil case out.

“After the Olympics it went mad… everyone that you walk past has a little dig at you.”

He said he had not been back to school since before the Easter holidays and had considered changing schools.

Katrina Borowski, principal of Eggbuckland Community College, said: “Tom’s extremely high profile has led to a minority of students acting in an immature way towards him.

“All involved in his education are supporting him as best we can and immediate action was taken to address concerns raised.”

It seems almost trivial to bring up Daley’s story after the recent suicides of 11-year-old Jaheem Herrera and Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, both of whom were reportedly bullied ceaselessly, far beyond have their pencil cases tipped out. But Daley’s case shows just how endemic bullying is, and how, even in small ways, it forces lives to change against their will. Here are some numbers from the National Youth Violence Prevention Center that should disabuse you of any notion bullying is just a phase kids go through and grow out of.