Say no way to bullying today and every day
WARWICK High School is facing bullying head on.
Yesterday was National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence but the school has programs throughout the year focusing on techniques to help students speak out and seek help if they are being victimised.
Warwick High head of department for student well-being Michelle Ferdinand said the school has an education strategy designed to help students combat bullying.
"Bullying may not be happening at school but we want to prepare students to be equipped for later in life to know what is acceptable in all situations whether it's work, social, sporting events or online,” Ms Ferdinand said.
The students have taken part in the national action day since its inception and education programs were run regularly at the school by award-winning theatre group Brainstorm Productions, Ms Ferdinand said.
Cyber bullying awareness and verbal combat were among skills taught in the sessions.
"The programs are run at all different levels and the skills taught may be as simple as understanding how to define bullying,” Ms Ferdinand said.
"It's important for students to know that bullying isn't just a one-off dig at someone that a person may not like.
"It's persistent and consistent behaviour to make someone feel powerless.”
Yesterday, students marked the action day by emblazoning the school and themselves with the Bullying No Way! message.
Ms Ferdinand said the day was also an opportunity for students to realise it may not just be them experiencing the bullying, that it could happen to anyone in the community.
Warwick Police officer-in-charge Jamie Deacon urged students and parents to speak out against bullying.
"We take bullying at schools very seriously, but fortunately people's expectations and awareness have changed with anti-bullying campaigns and families and students are now speaking out more,” he said.
Children as young as six contacted Kids Helpline about being bullied last year.
The telephone counselling service received more than 3800 contacts from children concerned about bullying, 84% of which related to bullying at school.