Case Study by Derren

Derren’s football coach asked him if he was okay as he noticed that he was struggling, and Derren said he had fallen over at school and hurt his leg. The next week Derren came to practice with a black eye and his coach once again asked him if he was okay. Derren told him that he was but had tears in his eyes whilst speaking.

Following training, Derren’s coach asked him to stay behind after practice and explained that he was worried about him and the injuries he keeps getting.

When my coach first asked me if I was okay I did not know how to tell him that I was being bullied at school. I thought it was just normal rough play that boys sometimes do but over time I realised I was the only one being hurt and that it was not nice for me at all.

I did try to stick up for myself but the bully is known to come from a rough family. He said if I told anyone he would get someone to come to my house. I was worried about my family being hurt, but I was so scared I would continue to get hurt by the bully too, so I told my coach what was happening.

Outcome One

After I told my coach he helped me to tell my Mom what was happening at school. Mom was sad that I hadn’t felt I could tell her about it, but immediately contacted the school and asked to speak to a safeguarding lead.

The next day mom and I had a meeting with the safeguarding lead at my school and I told them how long the bullying had been happening. The school were really great and agreed that they would move the bully into another class so that we were not around each other so much and they also made sure that the lunch time staff were aware to keep an eye out for me.

I was still worried that the bully would send someone to our house but mom reassured me that if anyone ever came to our house she would call the police to protect us. Thankfully, no-one ever did come.

I am so thankful that my coach noticed that something wasn’t right and kept asking me or I might still be being bullied now.

Outcome Two

My coach listened to what was happening at school and also called my mom following our chat to let her know what was happening. Mom said she would call the school the next day and she did but when she called the school said the safeguarding lead was not available and they would call mom later that day.

When they did call they told my mom that they would speak with me and the bully and complete an investigation. The school staff did speak to me but kept asking me if I thought it was just boys ‘playing rough’, I tried to explain that it was more than this and that it had been happening for a while but I got the sense that I was annoying them with my answers.

They also spoke to the bully who denied everything and so they said there was no evidence and that it was my word against his. The bully told everyone at school that I was a grass and now this is what people call me at school. The teachers sometimes hear people say this to me but just ignore it instead of helping me.

I really struggle to go to school now and have begun to feel really anxious about it. Mom is also really angry with the school and we are both just waiting until the end of the school year so I can go to high school and never have to go to that place again.

What I would say to any young person experiencing physical abuse at home or in school is-

It is never okay for anyone to hurt you! Not even if they think it’s just fun and games. If it’s not fun for you please tell someone because you deserve to be treated well just like everyone does.