Safe haven for stu­dents

Eastern Reporter - - Reporter - Ju­lian Wright

STU­DENTS be­ing sub­jected to bul­ly­ing be­hav­iour by their peers in the eastern sub­urbs will have a safe haven at a hand­ful of schools.

An ini­tia­tive at the No­randa Church of Christ this year has raised funds for a buddy bench for No­randa, West Mor­ley and Maylands Penin­sula pri­mary schools.

No­randa Pri­mary was the first to re­ceive its bench this month, with West Mor­ley to re­ceive it on Fri­day in a pre­sen­ta­tion to be at­tended by Mt Law­ley MLA Michael Suther­land.

Roger Stride, from the church, said the pur­pose of the bench was for bully vic­tims to make friends.

“If some­one is be­ing bul­lied, they can sit on the bench and other stu­dents or teach­ers can go with them,” he said.

Mr Stride said the church raised about $3000 at an Ital­ian din­ner in March, which was at­tended by 130 peo­ple.

“We raised enough for a few benches. We were very pleased with the re­sult,” he said.

West Mor­ley Pri­mary School chap­lain Gly­nis Best said there were plans to even­tu­ally ce­ment their bench in un­der the trees on the oval.

“The stu­dent lead­ers would mon­i­tor it and they will go to each class to make sure the other stu­dents un­der­stand the pur­pose of it,” she said.

“I think it is a great idea that has taken off in WA.

“Kids have so­cial is­sues these days that older peo­ple did not have and this is a fab­u­lous way to en­cour­age them to in­ter­act pos­i­tively.”

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