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More on Bullying in Aussie Schools

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From this report in the Adelaide press:

UniSA research finds school bullying `out of control'

BULLYING is spiralling out of control in schools, with one in four children from Year 4 to Year 9 claiming they are attacked regularly, a national survey has found.

The Advertiser can reveal bullying peaks in the final years of primary school, when 32 per cent of students are targeted by playground thugs.

New data, documented in Australia's largest study of bullying among school children, shows Year 8 students also are major victims, with 29 per cent reporting attacks.

YOUR SAY: How can children cope with this?

The research, carried out by the University of South Australia and WA's Edith Cowan University, shows many of the 7000 children from 124 schools surveyed across Australia said they had lost faith in the ability of teachers to protect them.

The report, recommending a complete overhaul of how schools handle the issue, found almost half of all children in Year 9 are being bullied and are bullying others.

Researchers also found the harder schools crack down on physical attacks, the greater the increase in covert bullying, including psychological taunting and smears against victims.

Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard said the research showed schools needed more guidance to combat bullying, which had become a "serious issue" for many young people.

"I think these reports are spot on when they describe bullying and particularly cyber bullying as cruel, ostracising and intimidating," she said.

"Most disturbingly, many of these young people said they did not report incidents of cyber bullying because they were scared their mobile phone or computer would be taken away from them."

The shocking findings show:

TWO out of five students feel things stay the same or get worse after telling an adult they have been bullied.

ABOUT two-thirds of bullied children seek help from friends rather than parents.

STUDENTS from public schools are more likely to indicate they are being bullied than students from non-government schools.

CYBER bullying is used more by students from non-government schools than from public schools.

MORE than half of all students believe it is worse to hit another student than to send a nasty message; and

BULLYING victims show social withdrawal, nervousness, depression and declines in academic performance.

The studies show most covert bullying takes place in break times at school and in the classroom. Hurtful teasing is the most prevalent bullying, followed by hurtful lies.

Research shows covert bullying is likely to cause the greatest amount of suffering.

Sounds like nothing has changed from when I was subject to bullying at school over 50 years ago. Strange, it seems like only yesterday, but I guess that is the nature of the harm bullying inflicts on its victims.

In my experience today's schoolyard bully is tomorrow's work place psychopathic manager. The really sad thing is that this kind of person is desired by executive management, who deem the bullying attitude as a strength.

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