In their bid to stop bullying in schools, a group of five girls from Robert Louis Stevenson College will be putting on an art performance next term.
These girls are confronted by bullying issues and will use their performance as an avenue of advocating against bullying.
The group believes bullying happens everywhere and it is an issue that must be addressed, especially in school vicinities.
A group member, 14-year-old Angel, said: “I think the people see me as a cycle. They see me as an arrogant person or something similar and are treating me this way.”
Another group member, Marion, 14, added: “Everyone thinks of me as a tom boy. They expect me to act like a dude and that is all they ever see in me.”
In their performance, the group will put together a short dance and a speech to address the issue in their school.
“Our performance is basically about us and for those who think they can’t be themselves. We want to show that everyone is the same and no one should be left out for face values,” Marion told the Samoa Observer.
“It is for everybody who feels they are not having the chance to be themselves and have to pretend to be someone else. We just want to do something for the victims of bullying, for those who are afraid to be themselves.”
To perform in front of many people needs a lot of courage, especially when highlighting an issue as such, but the group finds hope in their performance, which makes it a little easier for them.
“We hope that bullying and stereotypes stop and the others accept who we are and they are going to be kind and change how they treat us,” Marion said.
Angel added: “The performance will probably not change all the issues but we hope that it will make bullies more aware of what they are doing and help them to stop. We want to show them who we really are.”
What makes this performance dear to the group is because they are also victims of verbal and cyber bullying.
How did they handle the issue?
“We did not talk about the bullying in school with anyone and we do not talk about our problems at home either because we are afraid of the reaction from our parents,” Angel explained to the Samoa Observer.
“Our parents tend to overreact and I think overreacting and forcing would make it worse.”
Marion shared: “I have been labeled as a tom boy for so long that has become normal and a usual term used on me. This performance is the only thing we can do about it and I hope something will change.”
Angel explained: “I feel like I can handle it myself. I do not want to make my problems anyone else’s.”
Helping bullies stop their act is also the aim of their performance.
“We think something like this performance is necessary because we are teenagers and we have a narrow point of view and we need to show them what they are doing wrong. Even a little bit of change would be satisfying,” Angel shared.
The young girls did not have a lot in common at first, but bullying and their efforts of eradicating this issue is the reason they formed a group.
“This performance brought us together and we hope it will also bring other people together,” Marion said.