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Kariega teen introduces ‘The Bully Box’


Etaiya Briscoe (13) initiated the Bully Box to give support to children who are being bullied.

Etaiya Briscoe (13) initiated the Bully Box to give support to children who are being bullied.

Victim of bullying, Etaiya Briscoe (13) from Kariega opens up on how she overcame being a victim of bullying at school after introducing “The Bully Box”.

According to Etaiya, she has been a victim of being bullied at school for several years.

“The bullying started when I was 8 years old and when I got to grade 4, it got worse,” she said. “Some people wouldn’t believe me, especially if the bully’s friends were my friends as well.”

Etaiya stated that the bully got suspended for about a week and when she came back, the bullying was worse than before.

In Grade 5, Etaiya was taken out of school. Her mother, Irene, stated that “The worst thing is that you feel like your hands are chopped off. She started getting anxiety and did not want to go to school.”

Irene also stated that Etaiya went to counselling after the series of events, because she did not want to go anywhere.

“She did not want to be around people, she was like a different person,” she added.

According to Irene, she had a meeting with the principal of the school to discuss the issue and the child was removed from her (Etaiya’s) class and put her into a different class. “But like I said, Etaiya was already in that mindset of being afraid at school and not wanting to go to school, because the child already threatened her many times.

Etaiya has been homeschooled for grades 6 and 7. “Home schooling is not easy, but from this year we put her in a home-schooling centre,” said Irene.

Helping others going through similar experience

Etaiya started the Bully Box in 2023, because she felt like she had a duty to share her experience in the hopes that it would help someone else going through a similar experience.

The Bully Box invention encourages individuals being bullied at school to speak up on the issue.

The Bully Box

The Bully Box.

As part of The Bully Box initiative, Etaiya takes wooden boxes to various schools in the hope that victims of bullying will drop a letter anonymously to inform school officials of what has happened to them.

Upon being asked about the idea of The Bully Box she said,

The idea behind the bully box is that, if a child is being bullied, they can just write a note and put it into The Bully Box and then at the end of the day, the teacher can look into the box.

Etaiya said that she has dropped off The Bully Box at Innes Primary School and Red House Primary School in Kariega. She was also invited to Redhouse Primary School to educate the learners about bullying.

“I hope I can spread it out further and maybe get some schools to make their own if they want to spread awareness of bullying,” said Etaiya.

In retrospect, she said that she does not want others to go through what she went through, which is the reason why she started The Bully Box.

According to Eitaya, modelling has helped her with getting her confidence back and coming out of her shell. She started modelling at TMA Models in Kariega.

She has won various achievements under the agency, including being Brand Ambassador for PPMC (Photogenic Pageant & Modelling Competition) for three consecutive years, Face of Breath Month Foundation and Ambassador Against Bullying 2023.

She is also a contestant for the Miss Global Dream Girls SA 2024, which will be held in Bloemfontein on December 7.

Etaiya said that by winning this title, she will be able to use her platform to further spread awareness about bullying.

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