As the summer ends, some young people have more reason to fear the return to school than others.
Perhaps they think they stick out for being different. Maybe they are being bullied or worry that they will be.
One young man with experience of this is Reuben de Maid.
The youngster made headlines earlier this year when he featured on The Ellen show. The Cardiff boy demonstrated his incredible singing voice. Host DeGeneres praised him for his ‘uniqueness’ and love of make-up, which has led some to compare him to a young Adam Lambert.
However, Reuben’s love of make-up has led to him standing out at school and being bullied.
He talks of the experience in a video released by an anti-bullying initiative.
‘It made me feel sad and confused why someone would want to be mean to me when I’ve done nothing to them,’ he says in the video for AntiBullyingPro. ‘It would always happen quite frequently, whether it was online or in person, but mainly in person.’
‘I know it sounds cliché to say tell an adult but it is helpful’
He said the bullying started when he began at drama school.
‘They would call me names, tell people lies about me, push me, kick me, do whatever they could.
‘To make it all stop, I just stood up to them in the end, and I told my mum, and she sorted it out with the coach, I guess, and then it all kind of just flowed away slowly. I know it sounds cliché to say tell an adult but it is helpful because they can do something about it.
He said if he could give a message to his younger self, he would say, ‘Don’t stop being yourself. Just ignore them, but in the end, tell someone sooner and quicker because it will be all over then.’
Tom and Dustin talk about being bullied
Other people to take part in the #Back2School bullying campaign include married couple Dustin Lance Black and Tom Daley, who talk about their own experience of being picked on at school. This included Daley being bullied by other pupils when he first achieved success as a diver.
Another contributor is out gay British MP Iain Stewart. He said he was backing the Diana Award’s aim to create anti-bullying ambassadors within schools because, ‘Children who are bullied cannot fulfill their full potential, without help.
‘I don’t want to see any young life diminished or threatened in some way because of what others are doing to them. People should be able to express themselves for who they are.’
According to a recent YouGov survey of 2,000 adults and 500 young people about their experiences of bullying in school, nearly half (47%) of GB adults have experienced bullying, rising to 57% of 18-24 year olds.
In need of help or support? Try these helplines if you need to talk to someone.