Bullying was the most common response we heard from young people when we asked them what makes it harder for you or others to attend school? Young people described how they “woke up everyday scared to come to school because of bullying”, and how they were sick of “being bullied and no one being able to do anything about it”.
Throughout our consultation when we heard from young people who had previously struggled attending school; It was the issue of bullying that was most commonly attributed as a factor in their decision to not attend school in the past.
“Year 8 is when it got really rough cos I started getting bullied heaps … I left school because I got randomly bashed for no reason, so I left school for like a year.”
“I moved schools a lot and fell into the wrong crowd and got bullied heaps but I got no support at all. So for the rest of term two I just stayed at home.”
“Primary school was a blast, then I hit year 7 and started getting bullied, got bashed and then I left school.”
Young people who have suffered from bullying in the past report that they believe there is a massive divide between what a school says they do to address bullying and what they actually do when it happens and are wanting:
1. Real-time action from schools to appropriately address the gap between school’s policy and practice when it comes to bullying,
2. An independent statewide review of all schools and how they deal with bullying,
3. Better resourcing at the state level to champion best practice and support the uptake of effective anti-bullying programs.
“Do something about bullying when it’s actually happens instead of just informing us on the topic.”
“I want to see teachers and students work together to tackle the 'big' issues like bullying and mental health.”
Read the full report here.