A teenager who was the victim of cyber-bullying is now tackling bullies head on.
Elliot Davis (16), a student at Newbridge College secondary school in Co Kildare, was bullied for three years while in primary school – an experience that has made him “passionate” about ending bullying.
He is one of 30 Transition Year students at his school to become anti-bullying ambassadors and yesterday he and his classmates were celebrated at the Diana Awards at a ceremony in Facebook’s European headquarters in Dublin which was attended by singer Nadine Coyle.
The awards were set up in memory of Princess Diana and are supported by her sons, Princes William and Harry.
“I was bullied in primary school from third class until sixth class. You’re so much more passionate about it when you have experienced it,” he said.
“I wish there had been anti-bullying ambassadors in my primary school. I did my best to deal with it at the time, I spoke out and told my parents and then I tried to just block it out and continue doing what I enjoyed doing, like rugby and music,” he said.
“I don’t want another student to wind up with a bullying story. It shouldn’t have to happen to anyone in their life.”
He and his classmates have set up a confidential email account where pupils can report bullying.
Meanwhile, Girls Aloud singer Nadine said being a public figure makes her a target for online abuse, but she ignores it.
“I don’t listen, I just immediately block it. I know that bullying can be incredibly damaging and it’s important that young people come together to end its harmful effects.”