A Fixer from Worcester has helped create a film to show the difference between banter and bullying in schools.
Twenty-five-year-old Laura Iles has seen how bullying can affect young people through her work as a volunteer with an anti-bullying charity.
‘I hope that my film will raise awareness of the difference between banter and bullying, and demonstrate to youngsters how easily the line can be crossed and how teasing and joking can escalate to become bullying,’ says Laura.
‘What may be seen as a harmless comment or banter by one person, could have a negative impact on someone else.’
The film tells the story of secondary school pupil, Sarah, who has to endure being called names like ‘bean head’, ‘tramp’ and ‘loser'.
It appears to start as harmless banter and Sarah is able to laugh it off, but after repeated name-calling, the film explains she is left feeling like the smallest person on earth.
Watch the film 'Banter and Bullying' at the top of this page.
‘Should comments be made continuously, then although they are funny at first, they could quickly become hurtful,' adds Laura.
Laura wants her film to be shown to pupils across the country and has launched the resource to coincide with Anti-Bullying Week.
She has already sent the film to schools and local authorities and has received positive feedback.
Mark Mallett, Head Teacher at Chew Valley School in Bristol, said: ‘The film is fab! I love the creativity of it and it pulls a real punch with its down to earth message.'
Kate Murphy, Anti-Bullying Lead at Bath and North East Somerset Council, commented: ‘I like your film. I like the fact that it’s about banter – an issue that I’ve been raising a lot recently. How do you know when banter becomes hurtful? This is something that pupils need to think about more.’
This Fixers project was supported by Sanctuary Group.