WHEN Taj Farrant was eight years old he was bashed and humiliated by class bullies as he was walking home from his country school on the NSW Central Coast.
He arrived at his home bruised and muddied, but the real pain inflicted wasn’t on show.
He was mentally scarred by the experience and refused to go back to school.
His parents supported him and started home schooling Taj and that continues today for the now 14 year old.
Taj told his story last week to more than 100 Ipswich students at the Tivoli Drive-In Theatre auditorium.
“My message was simple, I just told them that it wasn’t okay to bully or be bullied and that it was also okay to be different, it doesn’t matter what your hair looks like, that you don’t play sport and what you like to wear,” Taj said.
“I know that a lot of kids are suffering from bullies and it needs to stop.”
His morning talk was organised and promoted by Healthwise Ipswich as part of their efforts to help students understand why bullying should never be tolerated.
For Taj his experience also changed his life after he picked up a guitar to play at home.
He became so good at it that he now travels the world playing and singing and has appeared on major international television shows such as the Ellen DeGeneres show in the America.
He’s also appeared on stage with Carlos Santana, Kiss and Rob Thomas and thousands have watched his performances on YouTube.
Despite preparing for a major European and US tour next week he considers his anti-bullying message so important he came to Ipswich to deliver it.