School bullying : it's time to face facts
The author argues that it time that the Australian education system faced up to some disturbing facts about the prevalence and impact of bullying throughout its schools. Responses to the TIMSS study revealed that 26 per cent of all Australian Year 4 students had encountered bullying behaviour and that Australia is in the worst category for this type of behaviour. A study conducted by Edith Cowan University also found that bullying, particularly cyberbullying, is on the rise and affects as many as one in every six students. A number of programs have been established by government agencies, but we have to face the fact that many of these strategies are not working. It is time to consider more adaptive and responsive approaches to educating young people. The statistics on bullying clearly show that traditional models of schooling are proving to be increasingly ineffective for nurturing desirable social behaviours. Any schools that support or even tolerate abuses of power within their structures are perpetuating this increasing problem. It is the responsibility of school communities to ensure that they are structured in ways that only model positive social interactions, from the principal through to beginning students. [Author abstract, ed]
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