Bullies given message it’s not right

BORDER school students were standing up, literally, against bullying yesterday.

National Day of Action Against Bullying sparked passion among students to make a change and Catholic College Wodonga students did just that by creating a human message on the school oval.

The words Bullying No Way was the public anti-bullying promise along with a banner of handprints they used as a pledge to stand up and fight.

Although student Elina Nassif, 16, wished it wasn’t an issue that had to be addressed, she said the behaviour could no longer be ignored.

“No one deserves to be bullied for who they are or what they do or what their goals are in life,” she said.

“Nobody deserves to be judged.

“Bullying is definitely inhumane, unjust and completely and utterly wrong.”

Elina said students had been given a voice and it would be one they used loudly, which was why they created a message that screamed out to the sky.

School psychologist Cassie Brown said they were focusing on the bystander effect and influence.

“Getting as many kids involved in this message shows that everyone can stand together through bullying,” she said.

“It’s extremely important to focus on the bystander because if they see something happening we want them to say it’s not OK.

“We hope this message gives students the confidence to do that.”

The effects of bullying are all too familiar to Ms Brown.

“It creates depression and a lot of anxiety,” she said.

Being part of a message that involved more than 400 students gave each person a sense of belonging.

“Things like this help victims feel supported and promotes our wellbeing office,” student Molly McFarlane, 16, said.

Catholic College Wodonga was not the only Border school to fight mistreatment.

Wodonga Primary School and Wodonga Middle Years were also active in spelling out the message on their ovals.

Murray High School principal Geoff McKenzie donned a T-shirt with the Bullying No Way slogan to attract attention from students.

His outfit complemented class lessons that emphasised the anti-bullying message.

Xavier High School students logged on to the National Day of Action Against Bullying website to create anti-bullying messages.

James Fallon High School also created messages to display at school to remind students of the severity of bullying.

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