Schools throughout Western Australia are leaving no doubt that bullying and violence have no place in schools or the community.
Marking the ninth National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence, Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery was at Wanneroo Secondary College today with Legal Aid WA to release a guide for parents about online bullying.
‘R U Legal? A guide for parents in the digital world’ from Legal Aid WA includes legal advice for parents about sexting, image-based abuse, filming young people fighting, and cyberbullying. It also includes information about the legal consequences if young people break these laws.
According to statistics from Bullying No Way!, one in four Australian students in Years 4 to 9 have reported being bullied every few weeks or more often, and about one in five young school students reported experiencing online bullying in any one year.
This new resource is in addition to advice for parents which includes information on signs of bullying, and provides advice and strategies for parents if their child is subject to bullying behaviour. This can be found at http://www.education.wa.edu.au/bullying
An online one-stop shop will also make it easier for schools and parents to access the wide range of existing resources to reduce bullying in schools.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education and Training Samantha Rowe MLC was also at the school today to speak about her ‘Reducing bullying in schools’ project.
A total of 475 schools – 380 public schools and 95 private schools – have organised activities today to say no to bullying.
Last year in a WA first, Ms Ellery announced the ‘Let’s take a stand together’ action plan which provides principals and teachers with new tactics to manage violent incidents and problem behaviour at Western Australian schools.
As stated by Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:
“I’m pleased that we have a record number of schools and so many students getting behind this important day and recognising that bullying has no place in schools.
“Cyberbullying has become a significant issue for young people. It is estimated that throughout a 12-month period, approximately 20 per cent of young Australians aged from eight to 17 years old have been victims of cyberbullying.
“Research shows that students often tell parents about bullying rather than anyone else, which is why it’s so important for parents to be well informed and supported to protect their children.”
As stated by Attorney General John Quigley:
“The Legal Aid resource provides legal advice for parents about sexting, image-based abuse, filming young people fighting, and cyberbullying, and includes information about the legal consequences if young people break these laws.
“A shared understanding of bullying and cyberbullying is an essential starting point for positive and lasting action within the whole community.”
As stated by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education and Training Samantha Rowe MLC:
“It is important for schools, parents and the community to work together to stop bullying behaviour in schools.
“Social media also means bullying goes well beyond the school gate, it is in homes and bedrooms, and is not only an issue for school students.
“If we focus on bullying and creating change, we can create safer communities for everyone.”