National day against bullying

A NATIONAL Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence will be held on the third Friday in March each year, Education and Training Minister Geoff Wilson announced this week.

Mr Wilson said Australia’s education ministers agreed to support Queensland’s proposal for an annual community awareness campaign on bullying.

It was the result of discussions at the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA) meeting on Thursday.

“The consequences of bullying, including cyber bullying and youth violence, affect schools and communities throughout Australia. This is such an important issue that requires concerted, co-operative action by the whole community to work out a solution,” Mr Wilson said.

“Queensland and most other states and territories are working hard to deal with these difficult and complex problems in schools by developing strategies and guidelines.

“A national day of action would showcase the positive work governments, schools and students are doing to combat this type of inappropriate behaviour.”

Last year internationally-acclaimed bullying expert Dr Ken Rigby was asked how schools could strengthen strategies used to deal with bullying.

One of his suggestions was to bring together people who had first-hand experience with this issue, to recommend innovative, effective and practical solutions for schools.

So the Queensland Schools’ Alliance Against Violence was formed, made up of independent, Christian and state schools; principals’ associations; union organisations; parents’ groups; and the Commission for Children, Young People and Child Guardian.

Mr Wilson said the Alliance had already agreed on, and was in the process of implementing a number of initiatives to tackle bullying.

“A national day of awareness, like these initiatives, will help to improve responses to bullying, violence and behaviour management,” he said.

MCEECDYA meets several times a year to consider matters in its area of responsibility.

Gympie Times

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