Sometimes if we’re being bullied or having a rough time at school it just seems easier not to turn up at all.
An article published in 2014 reported that 14% of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students aged 14 years and under were reported by their carers to have been bullied or treated unfairly due to their Indigenous status in the previous 12 months. This rises to 23% for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students in non-remote parts of the country.
The article suggests that there is growing evidence of the multiple ways in which racism is harmful to the health, well-being, educational and social outcomes of children and young people throughout their lives.
Experiences of bullying and unfair treatment are a significant factor in explaining school attendance. For those students who didn’t experience bullying or unfair treatment, 7% missed school without permission in the previous 12 months (according to their carer). Among those who did experience bullying or unfair treatment, this rises to 16%. More information here.
If you’re being bullied or teased at school, here’s some info that may be helpful to you.
Asking for help at school
Don’t let the bullying go on. Teachers can’t do anything about bullying if they don’t know about it. Take a friend with you if you are a bit nervous about talking to a teacher.
Who can I talk to at school if I am being bullied?
- Talk to the AIEO (ATA or AEW).
- Talk to another teacher or a staff member you feel comfortable with.
- Tell someone in your family or another adult you trust. Sometimes kids feel shame when telling adults about bullying. Don’t. Usually your families are the best people to tell because they will help you work out the best way to get the bullying to stop.
- Talk to a friend or another student you trust. Ask for advice or just talk to them about how you feel.
Who else can I talk to?
You might find it helpful to talk to someone who doesn’t work at your school or belong to your family, like:
- A youth worker
- A sports coach
- A shop lady
- Another trusted adult
Remember: Telling someone that you are being bullied is NOT telling tales or dobbing.
- ‘Dobbing’ is when a person tries to get attention or to get someone else into trouble.
- Asking for help is when someone feels the situation is out of his or her control and he or she is unable to deal with it alone. If you see someone else in this situation you should also ask for help.
- Asking for help is always okay. By telling someone, you are helping protect others as well as yourself from bullying.
What you can do
If you do feel any of these things, it is important to remember that bullying is not your fault and that you never deserve to be bullied. It is really important to talk to someone about what is going on. If you feel there isn’t anyone you can talk to, try KIDS HELPLINE – 1800 55 1800