HEARING the words ‘I wish I was dead’ coming from a child’s mouth is unimaginable and the most painfully heartbreaking thing for any parent to hear.
For Alexander Heights resident Fraser Griggs, those words were the driving force for him to establish P2S Rugbyworks to help stop children from being bullies, or a victim of bullying like his 11-year-old daughter was.
Erin Griggs described being bullied as “absolutely terrible”, having to move schools because it got so bad.
“I tried to deal with it on my own but I was just a wreck, I didn’t cope with it very well and I just cried everyday,” she said.
“The bullies made me feel so alone and so unimportant and unnoticed, it made me feel so sad like I had just been stepped on over and over again.
“I did not cope well at all, I just wanted to stay home and not go anywhere and was definitely not myself.”
Erin said she kept the bullying a secret for about a month before telling her mum, but wished she had got help straight away because it “tore” her apart.
Mr Griggs said there was a feeling of helplessness “that you are somewhat powerless to protect your child from the abuse” they are suffering.
“Having seen my 10-year-old daughter subjected to a horrific year of psychological bullying at our local primary school, I was amazed to see how seemingly powerless the school claimed to be in such matters when it was simply her word against the word of the alleged perpetrator,” he said.
“To have my daughter say ‘I wish I was dead’ at bedtime after another traumatic day was heartbreaking.
“It is easy to blame the bully, but kids often grow up in difficult circumstances and having met the parents of the boy involved – I could certainly relate to the ‘you are what you’re exposed to’ mantra.”