Artist Alicia Murphy with Gympie Central School student helpers Peta Kishawi, Kane Holbert, Tyson Kretschmer, Liam Kishawi, Mitchell Absalon, and Lilly and Jack Carswell.
Artist Alicia Murphy with Gympie Central School student helpers Peta Kishawi, Kane Holbert, Tyson Kretschmer, Liam Kishawi, Mitchell Absalon, and Lilly and Jack Carswell. Renee Pilcher

New art project to combat bullying

GYMPIE Central School is trialling an innovative approach to curb bullying in the playground.

Tony Kishawi had concerns, like any parent, about bullying in schools and has done something different to help reduce the number of incidents at his children’s school.

By targeting the one area where students interact socially, he hopes to change the dynamic and create a harmonious environment instead of an overly competitive one.

“I found there was one area, for games such as handball, which seemed to be controlled by the student best at that game. If you were a nerd you didn’t even try to get a game of handball. My children are students at the school and I wanted a better atmosphere for them.”

So Mr Kishawi looked for alternative playground activities and found a book called 100 Playground Markings. With permission from the principal he engaged artist Alicia Murphy to paint the pavement games around the school.

Mr Kishawi hopes the all-school’s painting project will encourage “game-style activities around school playing areas (that) will contribute to less bullying”.

The idea is to involve the students to develop a sense of ownership and pride for their school, “even if these two paintings are only a small start,” Mr Kishawi said.

Gympie Times


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