Australian teen takes to Twitter to fight bullying

Dylan was spurred to action not just out of his own experiences, but because he’d read about so many kids and adults who had committed suicide as a result of being bullied. The clincher was a story in the US about a bullied teenager who had been fatally hanged on the back of a school toilet door by his tormentors.

“I wanted to try and get the message out to say no to bullying, and I am trying to get people to speak up if they are being bullied and not sit back and be quiet about it,” Dylan says, explaining his motivation to start a Twitter campaign.

Dylan set up his account @DylanRaven16 on 25 March, and tweets with the hashtag #saynotobullying. So far he has attracted the attention of Channel 9, and has had an interview with reporter Ben Fordham on Sydney talkback radio station 2GB. His goal is to collect 1,000 followers before his 17th birthday on 31 July this year.

Dylan Raven takes to Twitter to fight bullying

His efforts are already getting results.

“After some people at school saw what I was doing a few of them came up to me and said ‘I’m sorry for what you went through, I didn’t know but I do now’. They were really apologetic,” says Dylan. “And I received one message from a teen boy on Twitter – ‘you’re the only reason I get out of bed and go to school every day’.”

“I received one message from a teen boy on Twitter – ‘you’re the only reason I get out of bed and go to school every day’”

Dylan is looking forward to these school holidays and having the odd dinner out with his friends, including one girl, an old friend who has been away at boarding school. He doesn’t play sport, but he walks for an hour each morning and evening with his singing teacher and her mother. He uses the computer, mostly for Twitter and for catching up with news – “I’ve wanted to be a journalist since I was about 5 or 6 years old,” he says. “I’m hoping to get accepted into one of the unis in Adelaide because my aunty and uncle both studied journalism at Adelaide.”

His parents, family and friends are very proud, and his current school Principal is very supportive.

“I’m so overwhelmed because I wasn’t expecting how successful it would be,” says Dylan. “It makes me feel really happy knowing that I’m doing something about bullying.”

Dylan’s message for bullied kids:

My goal is to raise awareness about bullying, to get people to say no to bullying, and to encourage victims to speak out. If your school isn’t willing to help, then please take the issue to the Department of Education and/or the police.

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  1. Well done to Dylan for taking a stand against bullying. It is so important for our schools to take these matters seriously and protect the children in their care. We also need to devote more attention to why kids become bullies in the first place and work out a way to stop children feeling the need or the right to persecute others.

    • Asian Mum says:

      My kids were bullied in school too, until I sent them to learn Martial Arts, it trains reflex and it gives kids confidence just with that air, the bullies stay away from him.

      • Hi Asian Mum, I can see how martial arts would help give a child an air of confidence, which might help put off the bullies. It would be nice to not feel fear – but also to not have to use those skils.

    • Janine I think you are spot on about needing to better understand the motivations for bullying.

  2. Wow well done Dylan, your story has given me motivation. Everyone has suffered from bullying but not everyone has the courage to do something about it!

  3. I am so glad to see this article on your site! I first saw it this week as a highlight on the news when I logged on to the MSN homepage. I read the news article and went straight to Twitter to follow Dylan and show my support for his campaign. I wish him success with his future journalism career – it’s off to a great start!

  4. I am so glad to see such a brave person. My brother was bullied that badly during high school, that he could not leave his room or the house without having a panic attack. The bullying occurred everyday in front of other students and teachers. It got that bad that a student put his hand on a drill press and other students pinned him down. Why a student drilled a hole in his hand, and nothing happened to the bullies. It is people like you Dylan who give the helpless a voice, showing them that there is still hope. It has know been over 10 years and he still panics when he thinks about high school.
    Recently my nephew (has Autism) who is a prep was bullied by a grade 6 boy which the school protected. This occurred while a teacher was watching and refused to stop it. It is sad to think that the schools are more concerned with their reputation and the protection of a bully rather than the victims.



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