On National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence, Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell has called on all Australians to take a stand against violence and bullying in the community and online.
Commissioner Mitchell said all children have the right to be respected, safe and free from violence, harassment and bullying.
“Children and young people who are bullied in the playground, classroom, community or online, experience profound impacts on their mental and physical wellbeing,” Commissioner Mitchell said.
“Bullying has been identified as a form of mental violence and abuse, with significant impacts on a child’s freedom to express feelings and opinions, their ability to freely socialise and fully participate in school and leisure activities.
“A child’s right to education is also violated, as the experience of bullying impacts upon their capacity to positively achieve and develop in the classroom.”
The recent Australian Child Wellbeing Project which surveyed 5,400 children in years Years 4, 6 and 8 in schools across Australia found one in six children have experienced bullying.
Commissioner Mitchell reflected on the recent debate over the Safe Schools Program and cautioned against any statements that could be harmful to children.
“As we consider the review of the program, I strongly caution against any unhelpful statements in the media that could negatively impact upon an already vulnerable group of children and young people,” Commissioner Mitchell said.
The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence is an initiative of the Safe and Supportive School Communities Working Group and is made up of education authorities.
“I encourage all Australians to stand together against violence and bullying in our communities,” Commissioner Mitchell said.
For more information visit www.bullyingnoway.gov.au