When bullying stops, everyone wins

Last updated 09:31 22/05/2014
 The Loft
JUST SAY NO: Tawhirirangi Mason, 16, says being pressured into bullying others wasn’t cool.

Relevant offers


Western Institute of Technology student numbers down by 8 per cent for 2015 Otago Uni employee says his suppression orders were breached Students heartbroken at Turakina Maori Girls' college closure Vic Uni student sick of telling StudyLink her mum has passed away Turakina Maori Girls' College closed due to multiple failures, minister says Education Minister's farewell a 'huge compliment' Sacked teacher wins appeal against prestigious Hawke's Bay boys' school Lecturer claiming cyber-bullying takes objection to ERA investigator Editorial: Redcliffs School decision galvanises an already determined community Nelson's Adult Learning Support to talk to select committee about dyslexia

A Blenheim teenager who used to torment his classmates and teachers is now friends with some of his victims after turning his back on bullying.

Tawhirirangi Mason, 16, said he used to intimidate his fellow students at Marlborough Community College because he thought it was "cool".

"I would make them feel scared and uncomfortable so they didn't want to come to school," he said.

"Even the teachers, the way they treated me changed. They didn't want me in their class."

Some of the victims of his bullying even left the school because of him, he said.

But a few months ago, an anti-bullying programme was introduced at school.

Liz Collyns, co-ordinator of the Ministry of Social Development anti-bullying programme, Te Punanga Haumaru (safe haven), visited the college in February with a message about anti-bullying.

Something about the message hit home for the year 12 student.

"Not many people took it in at first, but I wanted to try something different," he said.

He decided to take a stand for people who were being bullied and joined the campaign. "I've been bullied, and I've done bullying, and it's not okay," he said.

"I think people do it to look cool, and that's not cool."

Since he renounced bullying, Mason has noticed a change.

People are no longer scared of him, and he has become friends with a wider circle of people, some of them his former victims.

Owning up to what he did wasn't easy, he said.

"It was hard to admit I did bully them," he said. "But I said sorry, and now we're friends."

People who bullied others did it to make themselves feel better, he said.

Trying to fit in with friends who encouraged each other to bully others wasn't worth it, he said.

"If you don't think it's okay, it's not okay. You're just doing what you believe in, being who you are," he said.

"This is more me than what I was before."

In the months since he stopped intimidating others, he felt as though a weight had been lifted from his shoulders.

Anyone who bullied others because of pressure from friends needed to look at why they did it, he said.

"You need to do what's right for you. Find the right people that like doing what you do."

Ad Feedback

- The Marlborough Express


Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content