Di Turner, from Wardell, countered her bullying problems with karate lessons.
Di Turner, from Wardell, countered her bullying problems with karate lessons. DOUG EATON

Fighting spirit taught bullies

KARATE lessons put an end to the bullying for Wardell woman Di Turner.

Last Monday, Ms Turner, 38, read the report about 13-year-old Lucy Klaus in The Northern Star. Ms Turner, just like Lucy, was bullied at school because she suffered from epilepsy.

Ms Turner said she admired Lucy's bravery.

“She is a very strong girl,” Ms Turner said.

Ms Turner and her twin sister, Jo, both had childhood epilepsy.

In fact, four out of her seven siblings had the disorder, which claimed the life of her brother Paul when just 23.

At school in the western suburbs of Sydney where they grew up, the twins were teased and bullied mercilessly.

“They would come up to our faces and call us spastics,” Ms Turner said.

The twins were too afraid to tell their teachers for fear it would make things worse.

They told their parents, but they took no action.

So the bullying continued.

One day all their school books were thrown out of the bus window on their way home from school.

Eventually things got so bad the girls decided to take up KyoskushinKarate in order to defend themselves.

The strategy worked and the bullies began to back off.

Ms Turner achieved a brown belt, while her sister became a black belt.

Ms Turner said the affects of bullying could be carried into adult life.

“It leaves you with very low self-esteem,” she said.

Ms Turner said there should be zero tolerance of bullying.

“The parents of bullies need to be involved because sometimes they don't know their child is a bully,” she said.

Over the last four years, Ms Turner has been writing a memoir about her experiences of being bullied and hopes it will one day be published.

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