Devan Witter
Bullying Survivor
Male | York, England   United Kingdom
Once bullied now helping
Bullying Type: Physical / Emotional
Posted By: Fairest
7/03/13 10:27 AM
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From an early age, Devan Witter had a tough time at school.

He was called names every day and was beaten up in the playground.

Despite years of abuse, the teenager has spun the negatives into positives and has become an ambassador for the leading national charity – Beat Bullying.

The 16-year-old, of Market Weighton, said his earliest experience of bullying was in infant school when he had his head "kicked in" for being moved into a higher year group.

"I was doing well at school and I was moved up a grade, but it upset some people," he said.

"All I can remember is being on the ground and getting my head kicked in by other kids.

"After I was beaten up I was moved back into the lower class and it did affect my education.

"I moved to Market Weighton from Leeds in Year 4, but I was still bullied at my new school.

"I was a bit overweight and I would get picked on because of my looks.

"Groups would even call my family names and a friend ended up telling my parents."

Devan said the abuse continued into secondary school.

"At break-time and lunchtime, I would be inside with the teachers and I didn't trust many people, so I didn't have a lot of friends," he said.

"It was mostly name-calling and I would speak to the school nurse, but there was not a lot else I could do.

"It was a losing battle and I was always happier at home with my family and younger brother."

After family bereavements, Devan struggled to cope with his loss.

His parents arranged for a counsellor to visit the family home, which Devan said helped him to realise the good things in his life.

He said: "The counsellor taught me a number of techniques to deal with how I felt and bullying, and it made a difference.

"I was still being bullied at school and was often called 'spotty' because I had bad skin.

"About two years ago, pupils also found out about an operation I had and the bullying got a lot worse."

But Devan refused to be forced out of school and after watching a video about bullies, he decided to help others in his situation.

"I found out about Beat Bullying and went on the website," he said.

"I had training to become an online mentor for other school- children and then became an ambassador for the charity.

"At my own school I started a peer mentoring scheme and I'm also working to improve education in other schools.

"Teachers need to know more about bullying and how to spot the signs early on."

Devan's mum, Paula, 45, said she is immensely proud of her son and the way he has handled the bullies.

She said: "He would often say, if they were bullying him, they were leaving someone else alone.

"He's been on the severe end of bullying and he's come out of it a stronger person."

Devan is now looking to the future and aims to secure an apprenticeship working in business admin.

"I've just finished the last of my GCSE exams," he said.

"I'm going to continue to work with Beat Bullying and even raise money for the charity.

"There were times when I felt like leaving school and never going back but I wanted to turn the bad experiences into positives and help other people beat bullies."

Visit to donate money to Devan's fundraising drive.

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Posted By: emmawitter | 2/22/14 4:45 PM
if your mum is paula is your dad gary if so your my cousin my uncle is gary aint seen him since grandads funeral
Story Details

Name: Devan Witter
Age: N/A
Country: United Kingdom
Location: York, England
Gender: Male
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Relationship Status: N/A
Profession: Other
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