Going to school is a key shared experience; it is the ‘bottleneck’ through which all Australians pass. Currently, one in six Australians go to school. Yet despite the constant improvement in school facilities, education curriculum, teaching methods and training, bullying is a serious problem in Australian schools.
The Make Bullying History Foundation surveyed 692 students in 2018* and found that four in every five students (80%) believe bullying is a serious problem at their school. Arguably, that makes it a national crisis.
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3 in Every 5 Students Have Been Bullied
More students have been bullied than those who haven’t, with 59 percent – 2.3 million students nationally – saying they’ve experienced bullying, and one in five experiencing it weekly. Four in every five students recognise the seriousness of the issue, with 80 percent saying it’s a problem in their school, and 20 percent saying it’s an extremely serious, or very serious, problem.
While cyberbullying is a growing problem, the most common form is still verbal (50%) followed by physical (20%). The challenge for schools, though, is that many incidents are not reported. One in seven students don’t speak to anyone about the bullying they suffer and of those who do speak up, they most often talk to parents (27%) and friends (24%).
Anti-Bullying Seminars Make a Big Difference
The good news is that anti-bullying seminars do have an impact. Of the high school students who have attended a seminar, before the event, less than half (46%) would have said they were very confident or extremely confident in handling bullying – but after the seminar, this number grew to a healthy three quarters of students (75%). In other words, the seminar gave kids and teens a real confidence boost.
Students are a key part of the solution. One in five high school students admitted to having bullied another person (20%), but after attending a seminar, 83% said they are now likely to step in and stop bullying if they see it.
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Brett Murray, CEO and co-founder of Make Bullying History, said students are very proactive on the issue when they’re given the chance.
“I’ve had countless conversations with young people in the context of the anti-bullying seminars that I run, that share the pain that bullying has incurred on their life, and unfortunately this trauma is repeated daily in thousands of young lives across Australia,” he said. “I have found students to not only be incredibly attentive on the topic of bullying, which is such a priority for them, but this generation of young people are also increasingly empowered to step up and stop bullying.
“A key component of this is empowering them with change the culture in their school and equipping them with the right training and empowering them to be proactive.”
* The Make Bullying History Foundation surveyed students who had attended one of their seminars during 2018, with 840 people commencing the survey and 692 completed.
Article supplied with thanks to McCrindle, a team of researchers and communications specialists who discover insights, and tell the story of Australians – what we do, and who we are.