Petition launched to fight the cyber bullies
A BRAVE schoolboy stood up to the cyber bullies that nearly pushed him to suicide when he lead a protest march against a social networking site.
Family and friends were among the group of supporters who turned up on Saturday to march through Royal Wootton Bassett waving home-made banners and leaflets to raise awareness of bullying on Ask.fm.
The march was led by 12-year-old Josh Johnston, from Broad Town, who turned to self-harm after the daily barrage of death threats and insults after he began using the site last September.
He hopes that with enough signatures on his petition he can have the website banned.
The Latvian-based site has also been linked to the death of bullied Leicestershire teen Hannah Smith.
He said: “it’s going quite well and I’ve had quite a lot of positive comments about it. We couldn’t guarantee how many people would turn up and at the end of the day I was really hoping for a good turn-out.”
The number of people signing the petition is growing on a daily basis, with around 20 signatures already collected before the march started in Borough Fields at midday.
He also plans to hold more events to raise awareness in the future.
He said: “I’ve been a victim of the cyber bullies and I feel it’s time the kids were listened to. It’s our time to be heard.”
Among the two dozen supporters was 13-year-old Deanna Aspell, from Bassett, a school friend of Josh’s.
She said: “I don’t go on Ask.fm so I didn’t know what was going on but when I found out how bad it was I wanted to come along to support.”
Representatives from the Samaritans also came along to the march after reading about Josh’s campaign on Facebook to raise awareness of the support the helpline offers.
Josh’s mum, Alison Johnston, 42, said: “I think it’s amazing. It’s not just for him it’s for anybody else who has been bullied. And he’s done it all himself, it was all his idea.”