When Jacqui of Whangarei saw former X-Factor judges Natalia Kills and Willy Moon verbally abuse a contestant’s choice of clothing, she thought to herself: this is wrong.
“They were mean, using their power as judges to take over another person’s spirit. This is bullying,” Jacqui says.
The incident spurred the rugby playing 10-year-old into action and she decided to raise awareness about bullying by making it the topic of her school speech.
Making the speech finals
Jacqui found the speech hard to write, but that didn’t deter her.
“It was good to put my thoughts together in a way that made sense.”
The St Francis Xavier Catholic School pupil made it to the senior speech finals and had to stand up in front of all the Year 5 and 6 students at school camp to deliver her speech.
It starts: “Hi my name is Jacqui and I am going to talk to you about ABUSE (dun dun dun!!!)”. And ends with a plea for people to ask for help if they are being bullied.
Although Jacqui has experience performing in her school’s kapa haka group, she says being up on stage on her own was scary. “But my friends said, 'well done'. And the teachers thought it was a strong speech and were glad that I did it.”
Think of something nice to say
Mum Andrea says her kind-hearted daughter now wants to see her school to get involved in Pink Shirt Day.
“It would be great if we could all wear something pink to raise awareness, even the boys! And have some Pink Shirt Day stickers to give out,” Jacqui says.
Her advice to bullies is: if they can’t think of something nice to say, they shouldn’t say anything at all. She believes if enough people stand together, “we will all put a stop to bullying”.
Ultimately, in a world without bullying, Jacqui would like everyone to be friends and be happy. And that is a pretty cool goal to have!