Bill's Media Releases

Media Release: Bill Shorten visits local school to discuss cyber bullying

The Federal Member for Maribyrnong, Bill Shorten, today marked the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence with a visit to Buckley Park College in Essendon.



The National Day of Action is a call to action for all governments, school communities and parents to take a stand against bullying and violence. Across the nation schools have been encouraged to raise awareness of the issue and the need for their school community to be safe.

Buckley Park has embraced the concept and has been running activities in the lead up to the Day of Action. Friday has been declared a Day of Respect at the school, with students and staff wearing orange ribbons to draw attention to the problem.

The school is focussing on cyber-safety and the impact of cyber-bullying, and Mr Shorten met with a leadership group of students who, along with their teachers, are helping to manage cyber-safety policies within the school.

Mr Shorten said it was a privilege Bill with students of Buckley Park College discussing the dangers of cyber bullyingto talk to the students and teachers.

“The internet has been a huge leap forward in the availability of information and options for learning, but unfortunately it also has a dark side, “Mr Shorten said.

“The tragic reality is that students, families and schools now have to deal with the fact that a cruel taunt or thoughtless word can have more far-reaching consequences than ever before,” he said.

“Social networking can quickly become very antisocial indeed.”

“It is heartening to see that students and their teachers are working on ways to support each other and find solutions to the difficult problems of cyber-bullying, and more broadly, cyber-safety. “

“Initiatives like the National Day of Action help to focus attention on the problem. We are all responsible for helping to find a solution by encouraging respect and responsibility in all our relationships.”

As a part of the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence the Gillard Government has today launched the new Bullying No Way! Website and the Take A Stand Together mobile app, as part of the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence.

Bill Shorten said the new website and iPhone application would help local students and parents address bullying in schools.

“Bullying is a serious issue, which not only impacts kids when they are at school, but can affect them long into adulthood,” Mr Shorten said.

“Research by Edith Cowan University, which looked at students between Year 4 and Year 9, revealed that around 10 per cent of school students are bullied most days.

“We in fact know that one in six students is bullied weekly, and one in four students is bullied at least once over a period of a few weeks.”

The Gillard Government has also launched a Cybersafety Help Button, a free desktop application for kids which provides information about counselling services, reporting abuse and dealing with online risks like cyberbullying.

For more information on the Day of Action, please go to www.bullyingnoway.gov.au

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Media Contact:

Jayne Edwards

Kieran Barns-Jenkins

9326 1300