Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt has encouraged school students to take a stand against bullying today as part of the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence.
Mr Pitt was at Gordonvale State High School which has a successful anti-bulling strategy in place.
“Last year the year nines participated in a full day workshop on anti-bullying and developed the slogan ‘Thumbs Down for Put Downs’ to tackle the point at where the bullying starts,” Mr Pitt said.
“A competition was held to design an anti-bullying poster which will be displayed throughout the school.
“If everyone is aware of the detrimental effect bullying can have on people’s lives, both the victim and the bully can decide not to be a silent bystander but to be proactive and speak out.
“In the adult population, one in five people will experience mental ill-health in any given year. Over a liftetime, it’s nearly one in two people. This action in schools will go a long way to getting in early to prevent what could be a lifetime of emotional unwellness.
“Gordonvale State High School has achieved great results by addressing and talking openly about the issue ensuring it never gets buried.”
“Students have the right to a safe learning environment and the National Day is a chance to take a stand and help stamp out bullying.”
Education Minister Cameron Dick yesterday announced the Bligh Governments full commitment to ridding Queensland schools of bullying.
Mr Dick said a re-elected Labor Government would adopt a package of measures recommended by respected child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg to address cyberbullying in schools.
“The new actions respond to the Queensland Schools Alliance Against Violence (QSAAV) Keeping Queensland Schools Safe report, which was presented to the government in December 2011,” Mr Dick said.
Mr Dick said the package included:
- the introduction of an online course for state high school students about the proper use of mobile phones and technology
- the development of an anti-bullying iPhone application
- the introduction of an electronic “bully box” in all state schools to improve the reporting of bullying
- a further series of seminars about learning and wellbeing by Dr Carr-Gregg for school communities
- engaging with students directly through forums including a Ministerial Roundtable to canvass their views about bullying and cyberbullying.
Complementing the package is a series of six online videos by Dr Carr-Gregg that have been released for use by teachers and students.
“We know that young people don’t always fully understand that what they say or do using technology can have serious long-term implications for them,” Mr Dick said.
“The online course, similar to those used for learner drivers, will help ensure students learn about the appropriate and safe use of mobile phones and other technology.
“Students will have to complete this course before being allowed to use school computers and technology, and is likely to be linked with a school’s acceptable-use agreement with students in state schools.”
Mr Dick said the Department of Education and Training was currently developing the online course, which will be trialled in selected schools in July 2012 and rolled out statewide in 2013.
“While Queensland schools are already doing good work to prevent and respond to bullying, we are taking on board the advice of Dr Carr-Gregg to ensure students can learn in safe environments,” he said.
“We know that schools are already doing great work to address these issues and any new reforms will have to complement existing efforts across all three schooling sectors as well as other government measures to reduce violence in society.”
For copies of the reports from QSAAV, Dr Carr-Gregg please visit http://education.qld.gov.au/studentservices/behaviour/qsaav/index.html.