A GROUP of Trinity College students has contributed to a statewide initiative to tackle the ongoing issue of bullying.
The students participated in a session with South Australian Commissioner for Children and Young People Helen Connolly, who is in the midst of a targeted consultation that aims to identify what bullying looks like in 2018, and find a solution to it.
Students created three tool boxes – one for parents, one for teachers and one for students – that would include advice to those who have an active role in preventing bullying.
Commissioner Connolly said the effort is a result of a year of consulting with students about what is impacting their lives, and what they wanted her focus to be.
“Overwhelming, the issue of bullying came up…so, I went back into my space after hearing that and thought ‘I don’t really understand what bullying is’,” she said.
“There are a lot of people jumping to solutions, and giving views and opinions about what the solution is, but I really wanted to put on the table what the problem actually is.
“In order to get a good solution we have to know what the problem is, and I felt the only way to do that was actually to go and ask kids.
“We are asking them ‘what do bullies do and say, why do they think that, and where does it happen’, and then from that we are saying ‘okay, that’s the problem, now what do you think might be some of the solutions’.”
Trinity College year 10 students Harry Collins and Lorena Arevalo said they enjoyed the session and had to consider things they never had before.
“People say, go and talk to your parents, but going up and talking to your parents about this stuff can be difficult,” Harry said.
“I always knew that bullying was a problem, maybe it is not so big here at Trinity, but with the help of Helen and Jodie it really put it into perspective – things that I never really thought about or cared about,” Lorena added.
Commissioner Connolly said the consultation, which will involve around 500 students once completed, should be finished by June, with the results to be shared with schools, students and parents from around August.
“I asked students ‘what doesn’t work (when addressing bullying)’ and it has been uniform, every single session, that all of the things that we write into our bullying policies, kids are saying they don’t work,” she said.
“We need to come up with something else.”