Many readers will be heartened to learn that our article last week about the abuse and bullying in Gaskill Street finally got the harassment stopped.
But the account’s opening lead also distressed some Canowindra High School teachers and parents who felt it gave the impression the school is responsible for bullying.
This was never our intent, of course — it was simply an association of subject, announcing the school’s “Back Off Bully” day and showing what bullying can lead to if it’s not effectively dealt with.
And the school’s “Back Off Bully” workshop, held on Friday, certainly vividly underlined the attention we must now focus on bullying and how to deal with it, along with the depression and despair that it can cause.
The event was presented by year 12 students, and they used a series of mediums, including a power-point presentation, pavement art and even E-Man from the hip-hop dance and pop music group Justice Crew to get the anti-bullying message across.
The presenters opened with an overview of what bullying means to them – “not cool” – and what to do at school to get it stopped.
Most important step? Report it. “Let us know.” And the session pointed to the responsibility that the whole school community, students, staff and parents, share in combating bullies.
E-Man told of being bullied himself as a kid and how he got through it by talking about it to his parents. The essential message was “Don’t try to deal with it alone. Talk to someone.” And he added personal flair to his talk with a demonstration of hip hop dance.
A representative from Black Dog addressed the students about the damaging effect of bullying – acute depression – highlighting another important seminar for parents, Navigating Teenage Depression, set down for Monday March 31 from 6pm-7pm in the school hall.
By Derek Maitland