Aussie Prime Minister Reacts to School Bullying
There have been several reports of increased bullying in Australian schools, including incidences of students having knives held to their throats while in the schoolyard.
Cyber-bullying is also on the increase, resulting in some children being too terrified to attend school.
Recently, a 12 year old girl received a formal caution from the police for holding a knife to a classmate’s neck, but because of her age and the fact she had no prior offenses will not be charged. The attacker has been suspended from school while an investigation takes place. The victim’s mother was told by police that no charges would be laid unless manslaughter or murder took place, due to the offender’s age. Both mother and daughter now fear for the child’s safety at school.
During an interview on ABC Radio Prime Minister Kevin Rudd urged parents of victims to take matters into their own hands if they feel dissatisfied with the schools handling of the situation by saying “Parents have to exercise their responsibilities as the carer of their kids”.
He continued, saying that he would see nothing wrong with a parent of a victim contacting the bully’s parents to resolve the matter. He also said that parents should take greater responsibility in ensuring their own children were not part of the bullying problem.
As a parent, Mr Rudd said “I am completely revolted and appalled by any kid who fears going to school for being thumped, for being threatened, for being intimidated in any way.”
Rudd also stated that children should feel safe at school and be should able to enjoy learning. Schools must step in and use the power given to the Principal to make a difference. “We should have a national policy of zero tolerance to any form of bullying towards a child.”