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  • Sheridan Morris

Sticks and stones ……


I remember being afraid to go to school when I was a teenager. I had been picked as the target by the “cool” kids for their teasing and gossip. They would see me coming, raise their hands to their mouths and start whispering to each other and laughing. I could only guess what lies they were spreading about me. Their actions left me feeling under constant attack and despairingly alone.

At least at the end of the school day, I could go home and escape their nastiness.

Memories of these moments arose when I first saw an TV showing a young woman being the target of cyberbullying. Unlike me, there is no place for her to hide from the barrage of horror. At home, even with her family around, the young student is constantly hit by cruel, threatening words. No one is aware of her No one sees the damage.

Words are weapons ……

This powerful short was created and directed by 15-year-old Charlotte McLaverty, who was moved to take action after another teen, 14-year-old Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett took her life after being tormented by cyberbullies. Dolly’s death sparked outrage and sadness, particularly in rural and regional communities of Australia.

This confronting film highlights how cyberbullying can “creep into a home” and promotes the advocacy organization, Dolly’s Dream established by Dolly’s parents in 2018. The film depicts a girl being hit by stones as texts appear on her phone.

"Everyone who's had social media for over a year has either witnessed, experienced or been a victim or a bully." Charlotte McLaverty

Cyberbullying is a horrific part of our children’s lives and demonstrates how words are weapons. Left unchecked, there is no refuge for our teens from this silent killer.

See the complete film and an interview of Charlotte by ABC’s News Breakfast.


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