herald

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle honours teen who tackled his bullies head-on and made school safer

Nadine Coyle & Tessy Ojo
Nadine Coyle & Tessy Ojo
Elliot Davis, 16 years old, from Newbridge, Kildare who experienced cyber-bullying with Jedward

FORMER Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle said her advice with online bullying was to block and ignore internet trolls.

The Irish star was on hand to reward exceptional young people for their stance against bullying at an event in Facebook HQ.

Nadine said that she had previously been subjected to abuse but pays no heed.

“No, I don’t listen, I just immediately block it,” she told the Herald.

“Being in showbiz makes you a target, but everyone is in that position now.

“I know that bullying can be incredibly damaging and it’s important that people come together to end its effects.”

Teenager Elliot Davis has gone from being the victim of cyber-bullying to tackling the bullies head on.

Elliot (16), a student at Newbridge College in Co Kildare, was bullied for three years while in primary school – an experience he said has made him “passionate” about stamping out bullying.

Ambassador

He was one of 30 Transition Year students at his school to become anti-bullying ambassadors.

Yesterday he and his

classmates were celebrated at the Diana Awards alongside singers Nadine Coyle and Jedward.

The awards for young people were set up in memory of Princess Diana and are supported by her sons, Princes William and Harry.

Elliot was a victim of cyberbullying but has used technology to stamp out bullying in his school.

Elliot and his classmates have set up a special confidential email system for reporting bullying which is monitored by both the ambassadors and their teachers.

“I was bullied in primary school from third class until sixth class. You’re so much more passionate about it when you have experienced it,” Elliot explained.

“I wish there had been anti-bullying ambassadors in my primary school,” he said.

“I did my best to deal with it at the time, I spoke out and told my parents and then I tried to just block it out and continue doing what I enjoyed doing like rugby and music.

“I don’t want another student to wind up with a bullying story,” he added.

Social network giant Facebook brought together celebrities, politicians and schools for the awards and to support the young people as the nation’s Anti-Bullying Ambassadors.

 The initiative has brought schools from across Republic and Northern Ireland together.

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