NEW SCHOOL: A former Warwick State High School student said a second public high school could help address the culture problems behind bullying in Warwick.
NEW SCHOOL: A former Warwick State High School student said a second public high school could help address the culture problems behind bullying in Warwick. Marian Faa

Bullying epidemic much deeper than one school, parents say

REPORTS from parents have indicated bullying is a widespread issue in schools right across the Southern Downs.

Responding to comments on social media, Jenny Topp said she pulled two of her children out of an Allora school because bullying was not being acted upon.

Another mother said primary schools were also affected.

"It's not just the high school, it's rife in primary schools too with the standard response of 'stay away from those kids' but no consequences for the bully," Jess Ward said.

 

 

Warwick headspace manager Travis Maguire said the problem was not contained to one specific school, gender or age group and often extended into the home and personal lives of young people.

"One thing always spoken about it is how relentless (it is) these days, it is not just at school," Mr Maguire said.

"With social media it is all there, on different platforms and right across the boards.

"The exposure is a lot different to when I went to school."

Mr Maguire said it was harder to deal with because students could not get away from the issue simply by leaving school.

 

FUNDING WELCOMED: Warwick headspace manager Travis Maguire is in favour of the school chaplains program.
FUNDING WELCOMED: Warwick headspace manager Travis Maguire is in favour of the school chaplains program. Jonno Colfs

He said headpsace was trying to work closely with all the schools around Warwick to support students affected by bullying, and welcomed the recent extension of funding for school chaplaincy programs under the 2018 federal budget.

Mr Maguire said school chaplains enabled headspace to collaborate with schools where students were experiencing bullying.

"If we get a young person that presents with issues of bullying we get the school on a release of information form so we can talk to the school and the kid can call us from school and talk through the issues," he said.

"We find (school chaplains) good to work with those people because it means there is someone on the ground who are aware.

 

Parents say culture of bullying must end.
Parents say culture of bullying must end. michaeljung

"They can feed back to us about issues that happen in the school so we are aware and it can be addressed in counselling."

But one Warwick mother, whose son has been bullied, said more action was needed.

"Dolly's death has not changed anything," she said.

"How many children will have to die before they open their eyes and really do something to fix this problem?"

The woman hoped parents would get together to demand more action.

"They're not going to listen to just one person," she said.

If you or anyone you know is affected by this story, call Crisis Care Helpline on 1800 199 008, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyondblue on 1300 224 636.



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