A record number of schools across Australia took a stand against bullying on 16 March, with almost two million students signed up to participate in the country’s key annual anti-bullying event.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said 1.88 million students across 4,355 schools had signed on to take part in National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence in 2018.
Mr Birmingham said schools that have registered their participation can access an extensive range of teaching resources and materials to help make the day a success.
“We’ve seen school involvement more than double since last year and this year marks the highest participation levels in the event’s eight-year history,” he said.
“Schools and students are sending a clear message that bullying and violence have no place in Australia.
“From poster competitions to pledge walls, special events and lessons, thousands of schools are using the National Day of Action to find workable solutions that address bullying and violence.”
Mr Birmingham said that, as a dad of two young daughters, the stories of bullying in the schoolyard and online horrified him as he knew they did thousands of parents across Australia.
“Students, schools and families want to do the right thing both inside the school gate and online,” he said.
“The letter the Prime Minister and I sent was about ensuring schools know they have resources like the Bullying. No Way! website at their fingertips. Those resources are meant to complement the fantastic initiatives so many states and territories and school systems already offer.”
Mr Birmingham said there was no “silver bullet” for addressing bullying.
“When students come home from school, parents and families have a vital role to play by keeping the conversation going about bullying and violence,” he said.
“We invest hundreds of millions of dollars in youth mental health initiatives that complement the resources on our Student Wellbeing Hub. Just in January we announced an additional $110 million to extend and expand mental health programs for young Australians through beyondblue, Emerging Minds, headspace, Orygen and Kids Helpline.”