We hosted a workshop in June 2015 to explore young people’s ideas about how to stop bullying in schools. Funded by the Ministry of Social Development’s Te Punanga Haumaru Anti-Bullying Fund, the experiential workshop welcomed 68 young people from years 9-13. Twenty secondary schools were represented including public, private, integrated, co-education and single sex. By asking young people to provide feedback on a range of different activities to address bullying, the workshop encouraged young people to shape the charity’s approach in order to ensure that it meets their needs. Students also completed a survey on bullying, adapted with permission, from “Bullying in New Zealand Schools: A Final Report” by Dr Vanessa Green at the University of Wellington.
Founder and Manager of Be The Change NZ (Vicki Edwards-Brown) said, “The results of the survey weren’t a surprise, which is why I created Be The Change– we are all about building fences at the top of the hill rather than ambulances at the bottom. Whilst over 90% of students said that there is bullying in their schools, the overwhelming majority – almost 85% disagreed that bullying should be accepted as part of school life. This tells me that young people have had enough and are ready to take a stand against bullying.” The survey also showed that young people understand that the solution to bullying is not as simple as a single workshop or lecture, with an impressive 97% agreeing it is the responsibility of all people - students, staff, parents and communities - to help stop bullying.
Results from the bullying survey showed that:
Results from the workshop survey completed by young people showed that:
Students also commented that:
“I want other people to experience this and be encouraged to change too”, “[this] Could help anyone from different backgrounds, it can help the general public and all mind-sets of society”, “It taught us things about bullying and was educational”, “We were able to open up comfortably and let everything out without being scared. We were shown we weren’t alone.", "We were shown things to work on and how to help others. Also had HEAPS of fun and laughs!”, “I’ve learnt things about myself and I will never be the same”, "It was a fantastic environment where we were actually opened to completely new scenarios and ideas. I could accept things I wouldn’t accept normally”, “It made me realise that everyone has their own story and to never judge on appearance”.
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