School says NO to bullying

PROACTIVE: Bellbird Park principal Michael West, guidance officer Tracey Egan and students Mackenzie and Dayton. RIGHT: Kyrah and Christina.
PROACTIVE: Bellbird Park principal Michael West, guidance officer Tracey Egan and students Mackenzie and Dayton. RIGHT: Kyrah and Christina. Ashleigh Howarth

ONE Ipswich school, which opened its gates for the first time this year, is determined to tackle the issue of bullying from the start.

Bellbird Park State Secondary College Year 7 students celebrated the National Day Against Bullying and Violence on Friday by leaving positive messages and drawings on the concrete throughout the campus.

College guidance officer Tracey Egan said the pupils also made pledges to ensure they did not harass, discriminate or cause violence towards their classmates.

"Being a brand-new school, we wanted to say bullying is not okay right from the very beginning,” she said.

"We want them to know what bullying is, the different kind of bullying that can occur and what they can do if they see someone being bullied.

"They need to understand how bullying can harm someone.

"Then the kids took a pledge in front of the teachers, which meant they will be an active bystander so that means if they see bullying they will do something positive and report it.”

About one in four Year 4 to Year 9 Australian students (27%) reported being bullied every few weeks or more often (considered to be frequent) in a national study in 2009.

According to the National Day Against Bullying and Violence website, frequent school bullying was highest among Year 5 students (32%) and Year 8 students (29%).

Students also made more than 200 stars, which they will contribute to the Million Stars Against Violence project, a global weaving project that engages people in a conversation about ending violence.

The children participated in this project to understand that bullying doesn't always finish when you leave school and sometimes violence can occur in adulthood.

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