The campaign against bullying by The Diana Award aims to directly hold a mirror to people on what exactly goes down with their children in schools.
Bullying is an evil that haunts many children. National Center for Educational Statistics in 2019 came out with a heartbreaking statistic that one out of every five children that is 20.2% have faced bullying in their life. The biggest change the pandemic brought in human lives is that it compelled people to function from their homes. Schools also had to educate children from their homes so there was no physical interaction on the campus where unfortunately most of the bullying happens.
Gradually post the lockdown, things are back to the way they were, which means students are going back to the campus. There is also a new session right around the corner with schools waiting for students with open arms. This might cause anxiety for many children, who were enjoying their time away from the demeaning and stressful environment. Matt Roach wants students to have support in such a time, especially from parents. Therefore, in order to make parents aware of the situation, he created an eye-catching campaign at Westfield ensuring he had their attention.
Roach described his endeavor in a LinkedIn post. According to Roach's post, "65% of children are afraid of going back to school because of bullying". A place that should inspire a desire to learn, is harboring fear within the kids. In order to increase awareness about these sensitive issues and get students proper resources, Roach formulated the #BackToBullying campaign for charity, The Diana Award. As part of this campaign, he created a display having two models wearing school uniforms. These models are enacting various situations in which students are bullied. The models showcase how students are beaten and get mentally exhausted due to the bullying they have to endure in school.
The models were intentionally positioned in such a way that nothing is left to the imagination. It was very accurately portrayed. Roach wanted to give a clear picture to parents about what exactly happens in schools. As revealed in the video the models had the exact effect that Roach wanted, every passerby had to stop and take a look. The 'sensationalism' of it worked. There was no subtlety so the visuals directly attacked the viewers. One of them said, "I was not expecting that, a little bit shocked." Others found it "heartbreaking" as well as "overwhelming."
Alex Homes, a client partner, beautifully described the objective of the installation, "This installation is about raising awareness, it's about inspiring the public to help us shape attitudes, and change behaviors". He hopes that this installation makes parents aware that they cannot underestimate their children's experience, by showcasing how brutal it can be through the models. The Diana Award hopes that this campaign reaches a large number of people and garners support for their initiative of educating young people as well as teachers, so that they can make a difference.
Apart from the installation, the campaign also created a video to communicate the message. The video at first seems joyful but suddenly takes a serious tone when the reality is revealed. The boy in the uniform is upbeat, living the school life his parents imagine, when suddenly reality enters the picture. The boy gets violently shoved down by a peer with two others watching the show. This showcases that parents need to be more involved and not believe only what they 'see.'