Being bullied? There is help. Plenty of it

Help for bullied

by Mike Isle

Bullying, whether in cyberspace or on the school grounds, is distressing and serious. For children and young people, its effects can carry over to adult lives and relationships. Fortunately, there is among Rolleston’s schools, heightened resolve to address the issue, new resources to support those being bullied and to confront bullying head-on.

It is the start of the new year, and for most students, it is an exciting time. For a few, however, it is a time of trepidation and fear. They are the bullied.

It would be wrong to say that bullying is confined to the playground. In fact, schoolyard bullying is probably better identified, contained and resolved than elsewhere, and many of the practices evolved over the years are readily adapted for the more insidious and far-reaching bullying domain — social media. Rolleston College principal Steve Saville makes the point: “Over the last decade or so the definition and nature of ‘bullying’ in school and society have changed with a marked increase in non-physical harassment often via technology.

“It is often more invasive and insidious than face to face bullying, and therefore the need to help our young people to develop cyber-safe practices is vitally important.

Darfield School principal James Morris believes that schools have a role in addressing the issue, both on social media and in the playgrounds.

“Schools work hard to develop cultures of positive social interactions.

Usually, schools will start with a lower level response before moving up the scale to serious discipline consequences. Most bullying can be addressed with lower level actions however more serious cases can require longer-term support. Ongoing communication between school and home is important in such cases.”

One of the best sites to help us do that is the Ministry of Education hosted website: bullyingfree.nz.