Bullying In New Zealand Schools Essay

3535 words - 15 pages

A keyword search on the most popular New Zealand news website nzherald.co.nz reports 783 articles including the keywords “Bullying in Schools” dating as far back as 1999 (Alexia Internet Inc., n.d.; The New Zealand Herald, 2014) . In 2013 alone there were 82 articles written using the same keywords, which equates to atleast one being reported every week. In 2012 there were 135 matches or atleast 2 a week. It is safe to say this is a sizable national issue. Not all of these articles reported on national news topics but even some of those who didn't, explained the link the issue has to New Zealand's own problems (Huck, 2012). By looking at these articles we can see why it has been a hot topic ...view middle of the document...

As a Youthline telephone counsellor I listen to youth every week talk about their experiences with bullying and self-harm. What I experience is more accurately reflected in the research on bullying in schools. The Trends In International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), found New Zealand ranked second out of 37 countries for the prevalence of bullying in primary schools. Nearly three-quarters of the 5,000 New Zealand students who participated in the study, reported they had been bullied in the last month (Mullis, Martin, Foy, & Arora, 2012). Self-harm and suicide are topics I encounter consistently when listening to Youth talk about their struggles with bullying at school. In 2010 there were nearly 3,000 self-harm hospitalisations and 541 suicides for the year ending June 2013 (Ministry of Health, 2012; Coronial Services of NZ, 2013). Furthermore, a New Zealand report on bullying in schools reported 94% of teachers and principals declared that bullying occurred in their school. Even though, 60% of these schools had a zero tolerance for bullying policy (Green et al., 2013). This same study also highlights a point I repeatedly encounter when listen to youth talk about their problems with bullying. Why when I tell an adult, does nothing happen? This issue was recently spotlighted on New Zealand correspondence channel One News, where a fifteen year old boy lay in hospital with a suspected broken neck and was quoted as saying, "I've told them [teachers] like three times, told them I've been mocked and bullied and stuff. But it doesn't stop." (One News, 2014, para. 11). Although 83% of the teachers and prinicipals involved in the Green et al. 2013 study, agreed the entire school and community should be involved in anti-bullying strategies, it was also evident that participants were frustrated and confused about issues of responsibility for bullying. The expectations of society on schools to deal with the issues was also highlighted in this report. Confusion around definitions of bullying was also a problem that was raised and this reflected the amount of support received for implementing anti-bulling strategies, where only around 48% had received training or attended a workshop. Furthermore, some of those who had received training or attended a workshop struggled to recall details as it had been so long ago. It appears that both students and teachers know that it is happening and want there to be action for change. However, they are not equipped with the tools for dealing with bullying situations. They are confused about what bullying is, who is responsible for dealing with bullying and how to take action when it does occur. These findings correspond with a study that talked to twenty-six parents about their experiences with their children being bullied at school and how it was dealt with. Many of the parents said the school did not believe the extent of the bullying, did not take their concerns seriously or made excuses in an attempt to...

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