BULLY CRISIS CAN’T GO ON
WITH the scab knocked off the school sore – bullying – that is making life miserable for too many children, parents are coming forward to tell of the nightmare their kids suffer and the difficulty in getting help.
What they are telling the Bulletin – and we in turn are telling readers – is light years removed from the pleasant experience school should be. These parents are at their wits’ end. Heaven only knows the torment their sons and daughters are put through.
We share their frustration. Attempts to talk to principals are often met with silence. Efforts to gain answers from the Department of Education are met with bureauspeak, with liberal doses of jargon but nothing in the way of explanations of what policies mean or how success is measured.
Gold Coasters know what the measure should be – the eradication of bullying from the school grounds and also from the bedrooms of the victims, where they are pursued online by sadistic kids.
When we sought answers from the department about how a case at Coombabah High School had been handled, the response contained the usual words, among them “responsible behaviour plan, targeted behaviour support, positive behaviour for learning, and explicit teaching of community accepted behaviour’’. Such words are cheap. Where is the substance?
Where and what are the results? We’ll never know unless an inquiry is held into bullying across the education system. We suspect the authorities don’t have answers.
What we do know is that among the cases brought to our door, there is a child who has been pulled from school by his mother because of death threats and despite her appeals for help, because of inadequate responses from the school and higher authorities. And we know, after a worried father approached the Bulletin yesterday, that in another school there appears to be a ring of bullies who delight in telling victims they should kill themselves.
It’s time education authorities dug down into the mire of the playgrounds. It’s time for the authorities to be upfront with the community and stop hiding behind clever phrases. This crisis needs transparency.
And the time is long overdue for that breed of parents who haven’t a clue or don’t care what their vicious brats are up to, or are happy to leave the parenting to overworked teachers, to get off their behinds and raise their children to be kind and responsible members of society.