Home' Waitomo News : 19 May 2016 Contents Waitomo News Thursday, May 19, 2016 11
...it’s not OK
A WAITOMO NEWS SPECIAL FEATURE
AN ongoing campaign to raise awareness
around the proper use of social media continues
to grow throughout the Waitomo district.
Now in its third year, Journey Church pastor
Terry Bradley is continuing his ‘Cyberbullying
is not OK’ campaign which aims to promote
the healthy use of social media and highlight the
problem of online abuse.
Cyberbullying is where peo-
ple are teased, bullied and/or
abused in cyberspace (com-
puters and/or mobile de-
vices) which can result in
public humiliation, depres-
sion and even suicide.
During the past two years
the campaign has focused on
primary and secondary school stu-
dents by involving them in a wide range of
projects to inform and educate them about the
many forms of cyberbullying.
Part of the campaign included a two-page
‘community views’ feature in the Waitomo News,
a billboard on Rora St in Te Kuiti, posters at local
schools, two short films and a stand at the Great
NZ Muster to engage people on the issue.
Assisting Mr Bradley spread the word is Liz
Brandon who says the overall goal is to raise
awareness and empower victims.
“If the campaign is school-driven with input
from the students and, with support from the
community, it does make a difference,” she says.
“And with some of the events we have coming
up this year we are starting to move out into the
community a bit more because when we become
adults online bullying doesn’t just suddenly stop.
“So we are trying to widen our focus this year
and include everyone.”
Some upcoming projects in-
clude an essay competition,
promoting Journey Church’s
online information toolbox,
developing a practical pro-
gramme for victims and a pub-
Mrs Brandon says although
bullying isn’t new, the way in which
victims are being bullied has rapidly
moved online where offenders can remain name-
less and anonymous.
“What makes this new generation of cyber-
bullying more dangerous is how easily it can
“So we hope by raising awareness it moves
on to then informing people’s decisions and an
overall shift in social behaviour.
“ That would be the greatest change.”
For more information about the Cyberbullying
is not OK campaign visit the website – journey-
MORE than 300 schools, community groups,
universities, businesses and workplaces are set
to turn the country pink tomorrow and combat
bullying as part of the annual Pink Shirt Day.
Led by well-known children’s entertainer Suzy
Cato, Pink Shirt Day is a nationwide campaign en-
couraging people to speak up and stand together
to stop bullying.
“Pink Shirt Day is about showing a united
front, showing strength and showing support
for each other, regardless of age, sex, gender
identity, sexual orientation, ability or cultural
background,” says Ms Cato.
“You may have experienced bullying at some
stage in our lives.
“You may have even participated in bullying
or supported it without realising.
“But, we can all play our part in preventing it.
“Real change happens when we stand together
and send a strong message that there is no place
for bullying in New Zealand.”
Pink Shirt Day started in Canada in 2007
when two school students took a stand against
homophobic bullying, after a younger student
was harassed and threatened for wearing pink.
Today in New Zealand, young people who
identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or
intersex (LGBTI) experience high rates of bully-
ing, particularly at school.
“Bullying in all its forms is unacceptable,” says
“We need to nurture inclusive environments
where all young people feel safe and supported
to be themselves.”
BULLY BUSTER: ‘Cyberbullying is not OK’ campaigner Liz Brandon is determined to raise
awareness about online abuse and provide ways to empower victims.
New focus for campaign in 2016
Pink Shirt Day is led by the Mental Health
Foundation with support from The Peace Foun-
dation, RainbowYOUTH, InsideOUT, New
Zealand Post Primary Teachers’ Association,
Youthline and Family Works.
BULLYING FREE WEEK
Coinciding with Pink Shirt Day, a new online
resource to support schools and their communi-
ties tackle bullying has just been launched to mark
Bullying-free NZ Week from May 16-20.
The BullyingFree.NZ website features the
experiences of schools and students as well as
bullying prevention research, resources and
The new site features video clips made by year
7 and 8 students from St Francis de Sales School
in Wellington, made especially for Bullying-free
NZ Week with support from their local NZ Police
School community officer.
NZ Police Community Services Manager,
Inspector Paula Holt says the project is a great
example of schools working with their wider
school community to get the message out that
bullying is never okay.
“Police are committed to partnering with com-
munities, in particular schools, to help reduce
bullying,” she says.
“But this isn’t just a school or a police problem
and that’s a real strength of the work that the
multi-agency group has initiated to address what
is a very serious problem among young people in
“We also seized the opportunity to work with
St Francis De Sales children to capture their voices
as part of the first Bullying-free NZ Week.
“I think these videos really make the issue of
bullying come alive in some creative and thought
BullyingFree.NZ is the latest initiative from
the Bullying Prevention Advisory Group a col-
laboration between 17 organisations committed
to reducing bullying in schools.
The group, which features representatives from
across the education, social, justice and health
sectors as well as Sport NZ and NetSafe, formed
in 2013 after feedback from principals indicated
schools needed more support to manage bullying.
Using the shirt on your back
THE Youth 12 national health and
wellbeing survey of New Zealand sec-
ondary school students found:
Nearly one in 10 New Zealand
secondary students had been afraid that
someone would hurt or bother them in
the past year.
6% reported being bullied at
school weekly or more often.
Same or both sex attracted stu-
dents were three times more likely to be
hurt or bullied weekly at school.
Transgender students or those
who were unsure of their gender iden-
tity were nearly five times more likely
to be hurt or bullied weekly at school.
Nearly one in five New Zealanders
have experienced workplace bullying.
PINK POWER: Beloved New Zealand
children’s entertainer Suzy Cato is encouraging
people to raise awareness about bullying
by wearing pink as part of Pink Shirt Day
tomorrow. PHOTO SUPPLIED
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