Alarm over bullying in Shepparton schools
02 May 2019
Almost one in five students between grade 5 and year 9 at government schools in Shepparton has been bullied, worrying new statistics show.
The 2018 Attitudes to School report recently released by the Victorian Education Department reveals students in government schools in country areas are far more likely to be bullied than those in the city.
Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said the figures showed the state government needed to act urgently to stamp out bullying.
“I am deeply concerned by the results of this report,” Ms Ryan said.
“Along with the emotional effects, studies have also shown that students targeted by bullying are left behind when it comes to learning outcomes.
“Any bullying is unacceptable but the statistics in government schools in country areas are horrific. Schools have tried to put measures in place to address bullying but they are being let down by a lack of action from the Andrews Government,” Ms Ryan said.
“School principals need more support from the government to help them take action against serial bullies, including expulsion of serial bullies who do not improve their behaviour after repeated warnings and who put the safety and welfare of other students at risk.
“I have also previously called for the implementation of the Alannah & Madeline foundation’s anti-bullying program to be rolled out in all government schools.
“School should be a safe place for all students, regardless of your gender, religion, sexuality, race, ethnicity, family circumstances or your appearance but these results show that the government is not delivering on that basic principle.
“Labor has been in government for 16 of the past 20 years and seem to have made no headway in this area, leaving many families distressed.
“Labor’s city-centric Premier needs a geography lesson – there are students that live outside the tram tracks, and these students matter.
“Shepparton students have a right to go to school and feel safe and our teachers and principals need to know that the government actually backs their efforts.”