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Help for teachers and parents to combat bullying.



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Media Release

SENATOR THE HON. CHRISTOPHER ELLISON Minister for Justice and Customs Senator for Western Australia

10 March 2006

Help for teachers and parents to combat bullying

The Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison, today launched a resource kit aimed at assisting teachers and parents to recognise and combat bullying behaviours among younger children as part of the Australian Government’s commitment to giving young Australians the best start possible in life.

“Bullying in schools is an area of considerable concern to the community and the Australian Government shares this concern,” Senator Ellison said.

“Most work in this area to date has focused on the older age group, with little being done to combat bullying amongst those aged four to eight years.”

Research has shown that it is crucial to address this type of behaviour as early as possible in young people’s lives to reduce the risk of long-term problems with their physical and psychological health, their educational achievements and their social development. This applies equally to children who bully others, as well as to those children who are victims of bullying.

“A child who bullies others is at a higher risk of becoming involved in anti-social and even criminal behaviour later in life,” Senator Ellison said.

Bullying is a significant issue in many children’s lives, with statistics suggesting as many as one in six children in Australia being bullied by another child or group of children at school on a weekly basis.

Bullying Among Young Children - A Guide for Parents and Bullying Among Young Children - A Guide for Teachers and Carers are a $450,000 initiative of the Australian Government’s National Crime Prevention Program.

The guides provide useful advice to parents, teachers and other carers on recognising changes in moods and behaviours that are associated with bullying. They also provide strategies to help children who bully and those who are bullied. The guides have been researched and prepared by Adjunct Professor Ken Rigby, a renowned expert in the area.

A DVD and video on bullying, Very Mixed Emotions - A Discussion Starter on Bullying in Childhood, has also been produced as a companion to the booklets. The DVD and video aim to raise awareness of bullying and to encourage discussion on the subject between parents and teachers.

The resource kit complements the publication, A Meta-Evaluation of Methods and Approaches to Reducing Bullying in Pre-Schools and in Early Primary School in Australia, by Professor Rigby, was funded under the National Crime Prevention Program.

These resources complement the National Safe Schools Framework. The framework, endorsed by all education Ministers, is supported by a $4.5 million funding package from the Australian Government.

Copies of these resources will be distributed to State and Territory schools and childcare centres in 2006.

National Crime Prevention publications are free. For more information visit www.crimeprevention.gov.au.

Media enquiries: Michael Barrett (02) 6277 7260 or 0419 424 359