“I never touched him. I didn’t even say anything to him. I didn’t do anything to hurt him at all.”
‘Never Touched Him!’ is a dramatised storytelling addressing bullying through electronic media – in chat rooms, through social networking sites, by text messages and using mobile telephones and photographs. The performance will explore the ways in which cyber bullying is the same as, and different from, traditional forms of bullying. The story will empathetically explore the impact of bullying activity upon those who engage in it as well as those who witness it or who find themselves its targets.
Bullying can happen wherever people interact. New electronic communications offer a variety of different environments in which young people may interact and in which bullying behaviour may take place. ‘Never Touched Him!’ seeks to challenge all levels of bullying behaviour, exploring its destructive impact on the target, and on witnesses, as well as on the bullying group, its leaders and on the wider community.
‘Never Touched Him!’ helps children understand that online bullying may be different in expression from face-to-face bullying and may be perpetrated by different people, but that its effects on those targeted can be at least as damaging.
It will increase understanding that bullying is defined by its intent and the impact on its targets irrespective of the means through which it is expressed, and that it is always unacceptable, but that coping strategies and support exist to help both the targets and agents of bullying activity to escape bullying.
The story is designed to be effective with Key Stages 1 and 2. Each performance will last approximately 45 minutes to one hour and will be with ideally two but up to three classes. The project is supported by detailed teachers notes with lesson plans. ‘
‘Never Touched Him!’ was commissioned in 2011 by and developed in association with Cheshire East County Council through the Education Advisory Services (Safeguarding), and has been revised for each subsequent annual tour.