ARE you comfortable in your own skin?

That was the question asked of John Hanson Community School pupils at the launch of its Tolerance Term.

Guest speaker Abed Ahmed kicked off the school’s special term which aims to celebrate diversity and help students understand more about the world around them.

Abed, a maths teacher from Birmingham, shared his life experiences as a Bangladesh/British citizen and as a person with a stammer.

During his talk, he spoke about high unemployment levels, having no family outings as a child, not ever receiving gifts, and having just about enough food to eat.

His main message, though, was that he did have the necessities.

Abed discussed about how students can motivate themselves to become successful and that differences are something they should be proud of, he also shared that having a stammer has been a struggle throughout his life, but that didn’t stop him.

He also approached the subject of the different struggles people face, using anecdotes about his own life when people have “taken the mick” and made him feel inferior and sad.

He said: “We are all unique and we shouldn’t let others put us down.”

Another point he made was about choosing the right friends and appreciating school life, including that it is okay to fail, but that we should pick ourselves up and try our hardest at everything we do.

Following the talk, one Year 7 pupil said: “He inspired me to stand up for myself” and another added: “Abed showed me that I can accomplish anything if I put my mind to it”.

Diversity was also explored in tutor time with staff sharing what they are proud of, and students creating their own posters.