The young people of the Bundaberg Region are taking a stand against bullying with a powerful statement that “Sour Words Hurt”.
Bundaberg Regional Council’s Youth Development Action Team (YDAT) has developed an anti-bullying pledge and challenge to take a stand against bullying and unacceptable behaviour in our schools and our community.
The “Sour Words Hurt” project is accompanied by resources to increase young people’s awareness and access to quality support services, that are available when and if they need them.
To complete the challenge, participants must first read the pledge aloud and commit to treating everyone with respect and compassion.
Once they have taken the pledge they finalise it by taking a bite into a lemon or lime to leave a sour taste as a reminder of their promise.
The YDAT team is inviting participants to take a photo or film taking the Sour Words Hurt pledge, and then challenge someone else to join in to spread awareness and highlight the issues being experienced.
The pledge can be found here.
YDAT have shared the impacts of bullying through their lived experience with being excluded, rumours, teasing and discriminated against.
Because of this they believe it's important to develop ways to reduce bullying of all types across our region and encourage their peers to take their pledge and create change within the Bundy Region, one person at a time.
“We want to help each other become stronger together,” YDAT member Katie said.
“That’s why the pledge s so important to do it with your friends and the school community and the wider community, because it will bring us all together.
“The pledge is a way for people to feel loved.”
YDAT member Emily supports the Sour Words Hurt challenge.
“The feeling of not being valued or included in a group is so disheartening so I hope no one ever has to feel that in their life,” she said.
“It feels amazing to create this pledge, it’s such a stepping stone to make this community the best it can be.”
Council’s community services portfolio spokesperson, Cr Tracey McPhee, said bullying is as much about what people don’t do, as what they do.
“When we think of bullying with often think of there being two sides, the person doing the bullying and the person being bullied,” Cr McPhee said.
“What we often overlook, or what isn’t often talked about, are the bystanders, the people on the sidelines; they aren’t doing anything wrong, but that aren’t really doing anything at all.
“I encourage them to come alongside the kid that is being picked on, bullied or even just left out, to be a friendly face, to offer a smile.
“It’s only a small thing, but in my experience it’s the small things that make a big difference.
“My message is ‘don’t be a bystander, take a stand'.
“If you come upon a situation, step in and make it known, ‘this is not ok, not today, not on my watch'.
“I truly believe when we start to stand up to bullies, this is when we will see real change take place.”
For more information on Sour Words Hurt Challenge, how you can be involved and to take advantage of the education resources for schools and service providers, contact Council’s Community Development Team firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 4130 4150.
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