The day against bullying

Matteo Bertinetto

Wednesday 7/2 was the day against bullying and cyberbullying. We cl.2A and B (middle school) students talked about this important issue, and read together a story about bullying taken from Focus junior, reflecting and sharing some experiences.  

We then wrote on posters titled "POISONES and ALONE" phrases and words about behaviors that hurt and make people feel bad. Here are some of the most beautiful phrases.


The poisons 

  • The denial 
  • The teasing 
  • The snitches 
  • Racists  
  • The snitches 


  • Shut up! 
  • You're gay! 
  • But how much you eat. 
  • You are inferior. 

On other posters, titled " SMILES and TOGETHER," we have written words and phrases that improve the climate in classrooms. Here are some of them: 

Smiles and Toghether


  • Oooo how beautiful  
  • I help you  
  • What muscles  
  • Bravo 
  • Comlpiments  
  • Smiles  


  • Sharing  
  • When you know you're not alone  
  • Friendship   

Finally, we read a passage entitled "Michela, flower of night". Written by some kids from the Meucci scientific high school in Ronciglione, the text won the competition of the Viterbo National Education Festival "Put the bully in the net" in 2017.

I always wondered why girls were meaner than boys when it came to fights. It was a day like any other that I've been trying to erase for weeks. I was climbing the stairs, it had started as a special day: backpack on my shoulders and a big smile to my dad who had accompanied me to school. He worked a lot because we were alone, I had been living with him since he divorced my mother. They argued every day and in the end, when I was at the beginning of sixth grade, the judge assigned me to him because he was the only one with a permanent job.

Going back to that day, that terrible day... I was on the stairs and I was happy, after the fourth or fifth step I felt my backpack pulling me back, a strong and decisive tug that made me fall on my shoulders. I didn't understand what was happening. Ache. A shooting pain at the end of my back. I had pounded on the steps but then pain again. The head. A great pain in the head. In front of me Clara and Valentina: "So you learn to say that there is homework when the teachers forget about it!". They walked away giggling and I stood there in disbelief. It hurt more inside than outside. I was only a little late to class because I didn't have the courage to come in tears and I had gone to the bathroom to rinse my face.

“Everything okay Altegni?” “Yes, professor,” I simply replied, pretending to be calm while I heard Clara and Valentina giggling again. I spent recess sitting thinking about whether or not to tell my dad what had happened, but he was so tired when he came home at nine in the evening and I didn't want to give him this worry too, it had been a coincidence, just a stupid gesture. I believed so, yet I was wrong.
The following two months were hell: pranks, objects from my desk ending up in the bin and every recess spent without eating, because the snack had been intended for those who weren't full that day.
I felt worse and worse, the days at school seemed to never end and I couldn't wait to get home, where I spent the afternoons alone and sad, closed in on myself like flowers at night that close to protect themselves from the cold while I I felt that cold all around me.

My friends, who I had known since elementary school, began to notice my different behavior, made so by those gestures that hurt me more every day. Initially I didn't have an answer to give to their questions, I felt bad and I wanted to make them sad, no one would want to tell such ugly and sad things to their friends; I was too ashamed. My father didn't notice that I was losing weight, he didn't notice that I spent hours crying alone in the bathroom and no longer felt like talking. I was really alone, alone like when you have a big problem and are very afraid to talk about it.
At school the situation only got worse, I was more and more dominated by what was happening and recess was the worst time.
“Why can't I find money on my bank anymore?” Valentina said with an arrogant air. I stammered something indistinct.
“How come you can't talk anymore? Yet you talked a lot with the professors.” I lowered my eyes.
“Look at my face! Oh no, Mommy and Daddy were too busy arguing to teach you
I didn't answer.

I gave her a slap, I had never thought I could hit one of my classmates, I would never have done it, it wasn't like me so I immediately regretted it.
“How dare you, idiot!” Valentina didn't expect it, she thought she could insult me whenever and however much she wanted. She ran away to the bathroom with her friends chasing her and me with my hand tingling with pain.

That was the last time I rebelled because that same afternoon Valentina filled social media with photos of her in which she showed her cheek red and writings full of hate. Just that fact, there was no sign of what she had done to me in months; there was no evidence of what her friends had done to my wrists
every time they pulled me, there wasn't a single word that showed who the real victim was. I was tired of everything, I even decided not to go to school the following day and then the day after and so on until the end of the week. Dad didn't know anything.

The following Monday I entered the classroom and found a new teacher, young, in her thirties, dark hair full of curls, a kind smile that warmed my heart for a moment, making me forget where I was. “Good morning, and are you…?”
“Michela, er… Michela Altegni”.
She must have been a substitute teacher or something because I had never seen her, not even at school.
“Good morning guys, I'm the professor

ressa Nille, Francesca Nille. I will teach you mathematics and physics for the next three months, that is until the end of this school year, because your teacher has had surgery and therefore you will be my crew for a while." She was a bubbly person and reminded me of who I used to be. some time before.

The following days no one bothered me anymore other than a few whispers and shouts at the bathroom and at the time change, a few jokes about my clothing (too simple for those who dressed in Gucci and Prada like Valentina and Clara). Professor Nille helped us, she explained things to me several times if I didn't understand and she encouraged me to do my best, calling me to the blackboard and silencing some of the usual giggles. I was passionate about scientific subjects and was almost happy to go to school; in the end I had always liked studying and learning new things.

Everything was going smoothly when my birthday came and the nightmare hit all at once. The whole class was full of photos and posters, there were animals and monsters with my face and banana peels and food scraps on my desk. That day the class assembly was scheduled for first period and I had told teacher Nille, who had given us the time, that I would come in halfway through the period to go and do blood tests in the town clinic. Apparently she had heard me someone. I was petrified at that scenario, in disbelief because I thought that was all
finished. But no. It wasn't finished at all. With tears streaming down my face and my hands shaking from fear and strong discouragement, I felt myself being pulled towards the door by continuous pushes from my classmates who had surrounded me saying "now she's not happy anymore" "she thought she'd get away with it." ” “so she learns” “this time she will understand that she is a loser” “did the little princess trip on her shoe?”. They opened the door and threw me out of the classroom. I ran to the bathroom, I didn't want to believe it.

“Michela?” I stopped sobbing and raised my face from the sink I had thrown myself on to rinse away the tears and sadness that seemed sewn into my eyes. I saw Professor Nille, she had a worried look and she took me to the library, where there was no one at that moment. “Tell me what happened Michela, calm down and breathe”

I told her my situation, my experiences with my classmates and as soon as I got to what had happened that day she ran away and I heard her scream: she had entered my class and she had seen what I had seen shortly before. You can imagine what happened after that day, my little one, they called grandfather and grandmother, the principal gave a long speech to all of us in the class, but then I decided to change school; your grandfather asked to be transferred here, to Viterbo...right where I met your dad!”
“Santa Stefano!” said Francesca, my little Francesca who was doing a project against bullying at school with the province of Viterbo and had asked me if I had ever experienced something similar. That was enough for me to start recalling those dark months of school.

“My love, always remember that all those things that seem like a joke, if they remain isolated facts... all together and repeated over time have a different name. It's about bullying and you love, you have to call him by his name, your name is Francesca and he's Bullying, but I hope you never have to remember this word, it will mean that this bad, bad thing that happened to mom won't happen again and it will just be something old, like prehistory.” I gave her a kiss on the forehead because perhaps it was too serious a conversation for an elementary school girl, but I think she really understood that bad things like this shouldn't happen and in anything they should be called by their name and reported. Bullying seems like a game but it's the game no child should learn.