Almost all young people will be confronted by bullying as victim, bully or bystander. With this kind of statistic many schools are enlisting the help of Flinders University researcher Professor Phillip Slee, who works under the key theme of trauma and violence at Flinders’ newly established Orama Institute.
Professor Slee’s research found that bullying is pervasive in Australian schools with more than 100,000 Australian kids bullied daily. And if a child is bullied in primary school, there’s a 53% chance they’ll also be bullied in high school.
His research also found that bullying has harmful physical, social and emotional consequences. Children and teenagers who have been bullied are more likely to experience depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide – an alarming thought that such a negative effect on our children’s mental health can be created in the schoolyard.
Professor Slee and Dr Grace Skrzypiec from Flinders University’s Student Wellbeing and Prevention of Violence, have developed the PEACE Pack, an eight-week intervention program designed for schools and classrooms from Reception to Year 12.
Professor Slee says, ‘PEACE Pack aims to teach students and staff how to stop bullying, how to deal with bullying when it occurs, how to make students feel safe at school, and how to reduce the likelihood of students joining in bullying of others.’