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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 September, 2003, 10:07 GMT 11:07 UK
Oprah takes up anti-bullying fight
Oprah Winfrey
US megastar Oprah Winfrey will interview Welsh campaigner against bullying.
A school bullying victim from north Wales will reveal his "five years of hell" on two of America's top chat shows - Oprah Winfrey and Rikki Lake..

Dafydd Jones, 20, who is 6ft 7 in tall, was bullied for years while at Ysgol Eifionydd, Porthmadog.

Tormented by classmates at primary and secondary school because of his weight and height, he claims the five years of hell made him bulimic - a condition he only started to control last year.

Now he has started an anti-bullying campaign called Standing Tall and has since been deluged by requests for radio and TV interviews.

He said: "I'm supposed to fly out to America in a fortnight to do the Oprah Winfrey show, which is a bit of a shock really."

Interview requests

Researchers asked Dafydd to appear on a show about weight issues and eating disorders after they saw him speak on BBC's Breakfast programme.

His appearance also grabbed the interest of producers on the Rikki Lake show who have invited him to talk on a programme in New York, focusing on violence in schools.

"They all want me to talk about my experiences," he said. "There's a lot of interest at the moment and a lot of people have heard that I'm about to write a book, The Diary of the Bullied."

Dafydd has also received thousands of e-mails in the past month and repeated interview requests from newspapers and magazines.

"Children appeal for my help and I've been asked to visit schools to talk about my experiences."

Cruel bullies
I was tall, weighed 15 stone and had a 38 inch waist. Bullying was cruel and that's why I've started my campaign.


Dafydd Jones
Now he is campaigning for schools to take the issue more seriously and is setting up a web-site for those who are having their childhoods blighted.

"It started when I was in primary school. At first it was name calling and the odd punch and kick because I was fat.

"I was tall, weighed 15stone and had a 38 inch waist," Dafydd said. "Bullying was cruel and that's why I've started my campaign."

Dafydd said he kept his years of abuse from his mum and even considered committing suicide to escape his tormentors.

She eventually found out when he came home bleeding from cuts on his face where a bully had rubbed him with sandpaper.

He said: "Bullying policies in schools are just sitting on shelves gathering dust. Schools haven't really got to grips with the problem and while we may accept that bullying will never be completely got rid of, we really should do more.

To gather support for his campaign and to provide a supportive source of information for pupils harassed by bullies he is setting up a website called www.standingtall.org.uk to go on line at the end of September.




SEE ALSO:
Ambassador role for anti-bully girl
23 Jul 03  |  South East Wales
Bullied boy's mother speaks out
10 Jun 03  |  Tyne/Wear
Can bullying be beaten?
06 Jun 03  |  Education


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