New resources to combat bullying

New online resources to support schools, parents and their communities to tackle bullying are being launched this Bullying-Free NZ Week.

The resources will include a new parent pack with information and tips for parents, carers and whanau on how to deal with and talk to children about bullying issues, and resources for professional development workshops that step through what bullying is, responding to bullying behaviour, and bullying prevention.

The Bullying-Free NZ website has also been refreshed, making it easier to navigate and with new information for students and parents on where to get help and tips for dealing with bullying issues.

Bullying-Free NZ Week is an annual event and an opportunity for schools and their communities to raise awareness and promote a safe and inclusive learning environment.

The week ends today with Pink Shirt Day, when New Zealanders speak up, stand together to stop bullying and celebrate diversity in schools, workplaces and communities.

Secretary for Education Iona Holsted says all students need to feel safe and secure at school.

“School leaders, teachers, students and whanau need to work together to ensure this is the case.

“Unfortunately, bullying is a serious issue all schools will face at one time or another, which has a significant impact on students’ wellbeing and learning.

“These new resources will help the whole school community – leaders, teachers, students, parents and whanau – to share a common understanding and commitment to tackling bullying behaviour.”

Netsafe chief executive officer Martin Cocker says that increasingly bullying among students doesn’t just happen at school.

“Often if the bullying is happening offline, it’s happening online too. One of the difficulties with online bullying is children can feel like there’s no escape because it doesn’t stop when they leave the school grounds.

“It’s important that parents and carers teach kids how to stay safe and where to get help if they need it, as well as how to behave positively toward each other online and offline.”

This year’s theme is ‘NZ students with solutions - working together to end bullying’, acknowledging the importance of listening to students’ voices and experiences, and the need for everyone – boards of trustees, school staff, students, whanau and communities –  to work together to prevent bullying behaviour.

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