All Eyes On: Tayabah
We’re back with another in our series celebrating great people who are achieving great things. This time, we speak to Tayabah, who is taking a stand against bullying. Here’s her story…
Tell us a bit about yourself...
My name is Tay, I’m 16 years old and I live with my parents and three siblings. I have been bullied throughout primary school and into secondary school as I have autism, global development delay and learning difficulties. I find it very confusing and upsetting how someone can be cruel to someone else and I have had anxiety and panic attacks, and blackouts because of it, but my family and I unfortunately never had the support that was needed to prevent it.
You started a page on instagram to raise awareness for bullying, what was the reason for this?
Because enough was enough, and we couldn’t cope as a family anymore. Bullying has to be stopped for myself and for others. My page is there to raise awareness and for people to know that bullying is not acceptable and to speak out. We want to make a difference and work with organisations to gain results.
What do you want the people who follow you to gain?
I want them to know they are not alone and that we want to help prevent bullying. I want them to read my story and see the impact this has made on my life, which has caused a lot of unhappiness. I want to make a safe space where people can come forward and talk about their stories.
You believe that instead of schools telling bullies off, they should be offered counselling, tell us a bit more about this...
I believe that bullies should have counselling, and I believe that experienced youth workers and family intervention workers should work in schools, so that mentors can be allocated to children and young people to help manage their challenging behaviour and understand the impact this has on the victims. This will enable them to see that their behaviour is unacceptable and against school policies and procedures.
Counselling will support young people to establish if there are any concerns in their life, if they are being bullied or neglected, or if they want to bully through their own choice without a reason. Either way, the support would be there for them.
I want bullying awareness to be a part of the National Curriculum - with workbooks, role playing, and exams. This will reduce anxiety, low confidence, mental health and trust issues and the impact this has on a young person’s life
What impact has your account/campaign had so far?
I have had several people contact me and share their grief and pain, as they have been, or are being, bullied. The stories show that being bullied while at school can burden your adult life. I am not alone, there are many like me, and there will be more if we do not put action into place.
What challenges did you face along the way and how did you overcome them?
Things can upset me at times, for example if the numbers drop on Instagram. I want to make a difference and if the message is not out there and reaching people then I do worry about it. But I realised that I need to open up to other accounts and keep my supporters in the loop, and my family are helping me as I struggle at times to put my thoughts on social media. But I know I owe this to other victims and survivors who have been, or are going through bullying, because everyone has the right to live in a happy and safe environment.
What do you hope to achieve in the future with your account/campaign?
All I want is to make a difference, by placing robust action in place, where all schools follow the guidelines and monitor progress. I want bullies to realise that there is support for them and for them to be aware of the pain that they cause. I want victims and survivors to share their stories with others as it is not their fault they are targeted. I want people to be aware that it is okay to live a happy life, not in fear. I want them to know I am not just an Instagram page, but I am aiming to do something about this with everyone’s support. I want everyone to feel like they can discuss their feelings, their thoughts, and their fears freely, and that they are not alone.
What piece of advice do you have for people who are being bullied?
We are not alone, we are together. Please do not feel that you are alone at any time. Please talk about the way you feel with people you trust, or speak to a member of staff at school that you are comfortable with. But don't suffer in silence, as low self esteem will kick in and your confidence and fighting spirit will burn out. If you feel that you need counselling, go for it.
We can do this, with the right support. We will not feel apprehensive or scared when we attend school. We can make friends without being targeted. Keep strong, speak your mind openly and be safe at all times.
Don’t forget to show that you are ready to beat bullying by using our Insta filter: No We Can Beat Bullying! Take a pic, show your support and tag us @NCS...we’ll repost our faves!