With second term slowly coming to an end, some schools have already registered quite a number of suspensions and even indefinite expulsions as a result of bullying. And for those who are victims of bullies, school can be particularly frightening. According to many students we talked to, most of young people say they’ve seen bullying in their schools and others have actually experienced bullying. From abusive nicknames, calling names over social media to ganging up on someone at the playground and dorm, bullying takes many different forms. While some situations are easier to identify than others, any type of bullying is not OK. Here, 6 girls share their shocking experiences with bullying

“I got made fun of for being fat in kindergarten, primary and even high school. Peeps would always call me fat and how it made me uglier compared to other average chics. They even nicknamed me in primary 4 and called me ‘fat bombola,’ and once a boy drew the Michelin man on the blackboard and labeled it with my name. Even today, after losing weight over the past few years, I always feel fat. I’m working to unlearn harmful beauty standards and body shaming, but years of bullying means I get triggered in the most unexpected ways, like when I’ve gone swimming wearing bikini or when a fat girl is made fun of in a movie.” Amy, St Peters Nsambya, 17

“Ever since senior one, my three bffs and I were a super tight clique. In senior five, a new girl tried to slide into the friendship. We were pretty nice to her face, but we didn’t want her to be part of the group, so we devised a strategy that first holiday. While I was in villa with my family, my other three friends acted close to her and let her be the temporary fourth member. When I got back, one of my friends placed a secret three-way call with me and the girl. I would stay silent on the line, while my friend would encourage the girl to say mean things about me and then I would reveal that I was on the phone too and she could never be our friend now. My friends and I got in trouble for bullying after the girl’s mom called our moms crying. I still feel horrible about how mean and cliquey we were, but I definitely learned my lesson and never acted that way again.” Amelia, Agha Khan, Kampala, 19

“I was fresh off outta O’level and entering my senior five in a new high school where I knew nobody. Nobody likes ‘fresh meat,’ especially girls. That first week I introduced myself in every class, so people would at least know my name, which severely backfired during sports after classes in the evening. A guy started talking to me and the whole time, these two girls were whispering to each other while looking directly at me. I later found out that the boy was dating one of the girls. The girls spread rumors that I was a sl#t. So I had to pretty much start from negative scratch to build a reputation I actually liked for myself while everyone else was calling me a sl#t for unknowingly talking to someone else’s boyfriend.” Elle, London College Of St Lawrence, Maya, 18

“I’ve always been super flat-chested and I’m still totally traumatized by something that happened in seventh grade. These two guys came up to me and asked if they could call me stingray ‘because you’re really flat.’ I’m pretty sure the name continued for the rest of that school year.” Caroline, Rainbow International School, 18

“My whole life I’ve had a speech issue where my ‘R’s sound funny, but it wasn’t until primary school when I started getting bullied about it. My bestie’s name was Clara and mean chics would make fun of the way I said her name. Some would call me “Namyekozzo” coz they felt like I was pretending to sound American. Fast forward to now, we’re all seniors in high school. To this day my friends will still poke fun at my speech, and they don’t know how badly it hurts.” Ashley, Seeta High School, Green Campus, 18

One time, my senior one year of high school, I was wearing weird Nike sneakers. This girl who hated and bullied me walked into the bathroom, saw my shoes and said, ‘Oh my god, I love your shoes.’ She then walked out and I kid you not, it was like Regina George in Mean Girls (flick) scene where she compliments the skirt and then when the girl walks away, she says, ‘That’s the ugliest effing skirt I’ve ever seen.’” Mandy, Gems International School, Kampala, 20

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