Mia looked up with an amazed expression on her face, “Charlotte,” she called, “I’ve got a place in the same school as you.” They were both thrilled that they had obtained places at the same comprehensive school near their homes. Barnet Academy had a reasonable reputation and had children from all sorts of backgrounds learning to accept each other.
As the best friends walked into school together on their first day, Mia’s eyes shone with laughter while Charlotte simply danced with delight. The girls were very happy indeed. However, their joy did not last long. During break a girl named Tara strode up to the girls wearing an angry expression on her face. “You girls Jewish?” she questioned.
“What’s it to you?” replied Mia. “I hate Jews!” announced Tara. After her venomous proclamation, Tara flicked her silky blonde hair and strode off confidently, sniggering to herself.
The two girls were numb, as if they had been slapped in the face. Charlotte froze like a statute while Mia’s kneed wobbled and she dropped her head to face the ground.
After a stunned silence, their gaze met and eyes locked; they were totally lost for words.
Over the following days and weeks, Tara and her new gang of friends began giving the girls nasty, scornful stares. Tara’s beady eyes looking upon the two girl as if they were criminals. Charlotte and Mia both knew that Tara and her friends hated them. She was aggressive, rude and made fun of the girls constantly. They knew that she was up to no good.
Every day that the girls went to school they were melancholy and became unsure of themselves. “Charlotte, we really don’t fit in,” whispered Mia to Charlotte one day. “I know… NO one likes us,” agreed Charlotte. Suddenly, Mia turned around only to find Tara and her friends laughing hysterically at Charlotte. Mia was utterly confused but slowly circled protectively around her best friend.
“What are they laughing at?” questioned Charlotte. After some time strolling clumsily around each other, they eventually found a little post-it-note stuck on both of their backs. The paper read: “They are the Jews!”
Charlotte’s face became red and puffy with embarrassment. Mia just wanted to cry out for help. The girls felt as if the whole world was watching them. They knew that Tara and her friends were bullies.
Things gradually grew much worse. One day, Mia found that a swastika had been drawn all over the cover of her English book. Later that day, Tara and a group of her friends surrounded Charlotte in the playground. Mia immediately strode over to them and bellowed – “Leave her alone – you bullies!” as she went to comfort her friend. The group looked aggressive and threatening and both girls felt intimidated by their scornful looks. One girl demanded all their money whilst Tara pulled their hair. It was only their deafening screams that eventually made the bullies run away. Charlotte then sobbed uncontrollably whilst Mia was determined to do something about the horrific situation.
Whilst waiting for the bus that evening, Mia noticed a sticker, which had been attached to the side of the bus shelter. It was advertising help for children; it was called ChildLine and had a telephone numbers written in bold letters (0800 1111). Suddenly Mia had a great idea! It struck her like a lightening bolt: “We should call this number!” exclaimed Mia, “We need help, don’t we?” Mia took her phone and dialled ChildLine …
When they contacted the adviser in ChildLine, she was very sympathetic. She told the girls that they had a right not to be bullied and had done nothing wrong. The counsellor gave the girls a great deal of advice as to how they should stand up for themselves and how they should tell a trusted adult about exactly what was is happening in school. The advisor also said that a representative from ChildLine could come to their school to talk to the class, or a group of children, about what bullying was and the effects on everyone when bullying occurs. Both girls breathed an enormous sign of relief and tears began to roll down Charlotte’s cheeks.
That day, Mia had stood up to the bullies, stayed strong even though she was frightened, found a solution to the problem and proved to be a tower of strength to her best friend. Mia was a great inspiration, not only to Charlotte, but to the whole school on how to overcome bullying.