Mayor’s Column 8 November 2018

Young people often get a bad press.  Lazy, spoon-fed, selfish, troublemakers – are just some of the terms I’ve heard over the years.  That’s quite sad really, because there is a lot of evidence to suggest that exactly the opposite is true.

Teenagers are probably more socially minded and more involved in the community than they have ever been.  As with all age groups, a few bad apples spoil everyone’s reputation, but perhaps the main problem is that we adults don’t really know how to talk to youngsters anymore. As an educator myself, I’ve had the pleasure of working with young people for many years.  Most of them have grown into responsible adults and pillars of the community.  Some have even managed to defy all predictions and become model citizens, despite very poor school reports.  We all make mistakes – but do we learn from them?  It’s about taking an interest and developing a dialogue.

So it was with great pleasure that I found out about one enterprising school student’s idea for a march through town to take a stance against bullying.  Fellow pupils from across the Frome Learning Partnership will join her and other Anti-Bullying Ambassadors on 14th November during Anti-Bullying Week. The march will see supporters set out from different points across Frome to demonstrate the strength of feeling among young people in the town. Bullying can be a one-off or it can go on for a long time and bullying can happen to anyone.  Children are sometimes faced with bullying behaviours outside of school and the aim of this march is to go a step further and engage parents and other adults to help make a difference.

It is positive initiatives like this that can give us adults the courage to change our sometimes old ideas about the young.