Chris Leonard

chris leonard



1.  What your school like?

I went to Athboy community school then after 4 years I changed schools to youth reach.

2. What is your favourite memory of school?

My favourite memory of school was when I was in youth reach and I represented my school by singing for a huge show that happens once a year.

 3. How did your school experience influence/help your career?

When I was in Athboy I got bullied very very badly and it damaged my confidence and self belief a lot! But when I changed schools to youth reach the people there really took me in and made me feel and know I was worth something, so if it wasn't for me going to school in youth reach I wouldn't be the strong confident person I am today and I wouldn't be able to have the career I do now!

4. Tell us about your experience of bullying at school?

When I was in my first school in Athboy it was horrible! I used to get called names every day, I used to get called everything from a faggot to fat I was called a loser all the time and told that no one likes me that why I have no friends. I remember I had to sit in the corner in maths class and every class I would have some take my stuff or else they used to throw stuff at me like rotten apples when the teacher wasn't looking. Then one day I had a guy spit on his hands and try slap me in the face with it and when I didn't let him he kicked me off my chair. I was washing my hands one day after getting changed for P.E and I was dragged by the neck into a ring of over 20 boys and I was made fight this other guy who was giving me a hard time all the time and that was the first time I got beat up. Then one day I had to ask my woodwork teacher could I climb out the window of the class room to get to my next class because there was about 10 boys waiting outside the class room to beat me up. Then one day I was in class and I guy stood up and said to the teacher....... What would you do if I slapped this little faggit around and he was talking about me and the teacher just told him to sit down, but the final straw was when I got off my school bus to go home and when my back was turned two guys jumped me they eventually got me to the ground and they broke my hand and stamped my head off the ground.

5. What was the lowest/worst part of the bullying?

The lowest part of bullying for me was having to try avoid going to school all the time and then when I was in school hiding to make phone calls to my parents because I was scared they where probably the lowest times because I felt so worthless and helpless.

6.  How did you overcome your bullying?

The only way I was able to overcome my bullying in school was by leaving...... So I spent a couple of months outside education before I found youth reach and joined there.

7. What was your favourite school subject?

My favourite school subject was woodwork! I loved the smell of the sawdust in the class room and looking at all the cool pieces people had made.

8. What did you look forward to when you went back to school after the holidays? What advice would you give to young people who are going back to school after the holidays?

When I joined youth reach I always looked forward to going back to school after summer and seeing the people I hadn't got to see over It. The advice I would give to everyone going back to school after the summer is have yourself prepared have your books all the essential stuff and also go back with confidence! Because your going back to school a bigger, better, more intelligent person than you where the year before! And don't be afraid to stand out be yourself and surround yourself with good people, because good people will accept you for you no matter what! And that will make school so much better.

9.  Was there anything you worried about when you went back to school after the holidays? How did you overcome this?

I used to be terrified going back to school because I never knew what was going to happen if I was going to get spat on, beaten up etc. thankfully I had a good support system at home because I'm so close to my family, so don't be afraid to talk to people at the end of the day we are all human and we all need to talk about stuff at some stage and who better to talk to than your family or even your best friend.

10. What was your favourite school meal?!

We used to get chicken rolls nearly every day hahaha I got sick of them after a while but they where nice at the start!

11. If you had to go back to school again what would you change?

In my school if I was to go back I'd change the teachers attitudes and policy's towards bullying! Because there are to many rules in place to protect kids who are bullying others and it's unfair because other kids have to suffer because of it.

12. What is your back to school advice to any young people worrying about going back to school because of bullying?

My advice for anyone worried about going back to school because of bullying is talk to your parents or someone extremely close to you who genuinely cares about you because they will always have your back 100% and it makes it so much easier to stand up for yourself when you know you have other people who care behind you.

13. What difference would an Anti-Bullying Ambassador have made?

An Anti-Bully Ambassador would have made a huge difference! Because someone promoting and talking about anti bullying and making people realise what bullying can actually do to people might start to open people's eyes. 



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