Call for ac­tion on school bul­ly­ing

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - JAMES KITTO

LA­BOR has re­peated its call for so­cial and emo­tional learn­ing pro­grams to be rolled out in Tas­ma­nian schools, while crit­i­cis­ing the Gov­ern­ment for not com­mit­ting to its promise to make cy­ber-bul­ly­ing a crime.

La­bor yes­ter­day pledged to in­tro­duce a SEL pro­gram for Tas­ma­nian schools, three years af­ter it was first flagged.

The pro­gram is aimed at help­ing ad­dress trauma and school­yard bul­ly­ing.

Op­po­si­tion ed­u­ca­tion spokes­woman Michelle O’Byrne said the Gov­ern­ment had failed to de­liver on curb­ing cy­ber-bul­ly­ing and im­prov­ing so­cial and emo­tional health in Tas­ma­nian schools.

“De­spite its prom­ises, the Lib­eral party has been too slow to act on these is­sues,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“As lead­ers, we need to make sure there is ap­pro­pri­ate sup­port in schools for stu­dents.” A re­port in the Mer­cury’s

mag­a­zine yes­ter­day said bul­ly­ing among Tas­ma­nian Year 7 and Year 8 stu­dents was among the worst in the coun­try.

Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Jeremy Rock­liff said the Gov­ern­ment was pro­gress­ing changes to laws that would make cy­ber­bul­ly­ing a crime, as well as work­ing to ad­dress bul­ly­ing in schools.

“We are in­vest­ing $3 mil­lion over four years to com­bat bul­ly­ing and cy­ber-bul­ly­ing in all Tas­ma­nian Gov­ern­ment schools,” he said.

“We have also part­nered with the Alan­nah and Made­line Foun­da­tion to im­ple­ment ev­i­dence-based strate­gies and ap­proaches to anti-cy­ber bul­ly­ing in schools. The clear mes­sage to our stu­dents in our class­rooms is that bul­ly­ing and vi­o­lence, in or out­side of school, is never OK.”

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