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Days of the school yard bully numbered

Students and staff at Bluff State School say no to bullying by designing signs and standing at the front gate in a sea of orange.
Students and staff at Bluff State School say no to bullying by designing signs and standing at the front gate in a sea of orange.

IT WAS a sea of orange on Friday morning as schools throughout the Central Highlands took action against bullying.

Teachers and students wore orange in support of a national day of action against bullying and violence.

Students from Blackwater State High School were at the forefront after a week full of activities centred specifically on cyber bullying.

Rhys McFadden from Real Life Seminars visited the school on Thursday and Friday. Mr McFadden led sessions on the interactions people make using technology and the power of social networking sites.

"Our focus is not only raising awareness, but giving them the strategies to deal with it," Mr McFadden said.

"We've got a session that's activity based... drawing out real life stories."

BSHS principal Linda Galloway said the school had been teaching their students about bullying in their form classes all week and the information sessions were just another step they were taking to support the cause.

"We have zero tolerance with bullying at school, and it's central we all work together to overcome it," Mrs Galloway said.

"We target respecting each other."

Mrs Galloway said they also held a special session for parents and the public.

"We have a lot of parents asking the school what to do about cyber bullying," Mrs Galloway said.

Parents were invited to attend a session on Thursday afternoon where Mr McFadden gave advice on how to support

children who were being bullied.

"Our focus is not only raising awareness, but giving them strategies to deal with it," Mr McFadden said.

"It's not about telling children not to bully, but helping them discover what's wrong about it."

The response the school received from the seminars was overwhelming, Mr McFadden said.

He has been giving seminars at schools for 16 years. While the cyber bullying lesson was a recent addition, he said the feedback was rewarding.

"A number of students say it's helping them think strategies through," Mr McFadden said.

"The kids are so generous, so attentive and engaged."

Bluff State School also stood behind their zero tolerance for bullying, as students and staff dressed in orange and displayed posters they had designed.

The students all stood strong at the front of their school, as many drivers on the Capricorn Highway tooted their horns and waved in support of the students' No Bullying campaign.

They learnt about the many forms of bullying all week, and how to respond to the issue, as they designed persuasive posters together in support of the campaign.

"We have a zero tolerance with bullying at school." Linda Galloway


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