SAYING NO: Warwick State High School students yesterday took a stand against bullying and marked National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence.
SAYING NO: Warwick State High School students yesterday took a stand against bullying and marked National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence.

Warwick school acts against bullying and violence

ONE in four children will fall victim to it, yet there is no set solution.

Warwick State High School yesterday marked the fifth National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence. The annual day provides a focus for the school to say no to bullying.

"As a school we have a very strong anti-bullying policy, and we are proud to say that we don't take bullying lightly," said Marie Brennan, with the school's Wellbeing Team.

Students created a mural of a tree and decorated leaves with the pledges to say no to bullying.

"The principal and deputies are the roots of the school, while the staff are the trunk that provides strength and the students are the leaves with their pledges against bullying," Mrs Brennan said.

Kids Helpline has warned the sheer number of ways bullying can occur is causing serious mental health issues for children of all ages.

As technology continues to play an ever-increasing role in children's daily lives, cyberbullying is becoming more common.

Kids Helpline is a free 24/7 counselling service and it has described today's version of bullying through social media such as Facebook and Instagram as more sinister and damaging than any other.

But headspace's Sandi Winner finds various forms of bullying impact children differently and all types could have detrimental effects.

Although the national youth mental health foundation's community development lead does have a few suggestions when it comes to social media.

"Try and limit technology in the bedroom, especially for under 16s," Ms Winner said.

She said it decreased the potential for cyberbullying and ensured children received more sleep.

"When you close the door with face-to-face bullying for the day, it's over," Ms Winner said. "Whereas with cyberbullying it's 24/7."

She advises parents to encourage their children to "have open communication" with them.

For National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence, Kids Helpline has revealed the organisation last year received more than 700,000 direct contacts and links to self-help activities from children and young people.

About one third of the contacts were from regional and remote areas in 2013.

Kids Helpline general manager Wendy Protheroe said the most downloaded topics from the service's website were about cyberbullying and bullying.

"One in four children in Australia will experience some form of bullying, and it's important we undertake both preventative measures to stop it happening and also offer support to kids dealing with the problem," she said.

 

CALL FOR HELP

FOR CHILDREN

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800

headspace 1800 650 890

FOR PARENTS

Parentline 1300 30 1300

 

Saying no online

A NEW study contradicts Kids Helpline's findings cyberbullying is more hurtful than face-to-face bullying.

The Queensland University of Technology-led study revealed 59% of the 156 children from 29 schools in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia who participated felt traditional bullying was worse.

While 26% felt both bullying forms hurt them equally, only 15% felt cyberbullying was more painful.

The study's supervisor, Professor Marilyn Campbell, said earlier studies found Australian school students reported the highest prevalence of peer aggression among OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries.

"Children reported being scared and very worried by the attacks but it was interesting to find a majority of them were embarrassed that others were witnessing their victimisation as it occurred," she said.

"It clearly indicates the feelings of the children and the very real threat they have of being physically harmed by another child," she said.

Prof Campbell said a 2008 survey of about 40 countries found Australian primary schools had the highest reported incidences of bullying.

The focus of the research was to give a voice to students who reported they had been bullied in the real world or online.



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