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Pink shirts and new guidelines

Pink shirts and new guidelines – schools take a stand against bullying

Schools will be turning pink this Friday to take a stand against bullying – and now they have a new set of guidelines to back them up.

The Pink Shirt Day bullying awareness campaign will brighten up schools and workplaces on Friday 23 May with the message “Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying.”

At the same time the Bullying Prevention Advisory Group (BPAG) is releasing a practical guide to support principals, teachers, staff and parents to address bullying in schools.

Convened by Secretary for Education Peter Hughes, BPAG is a body made up of education sector groups – including PPTA – government agencies, NetSafe, the Human Rights Commissioner and the Children’s Commissioner.

All share a commitment to taking a stand against bullying and all believe in a community-wide approach.

Bullying prevention and response: A guide for schools, provides practical advice for schools on how to prevent bullying and respond to it effectively when it does occur.

It has been shaped by research, effective practice and specific information requested by schools.

PPTA has been involved in the development of the guidelines and has been working towards a community-wide approach towards bullying in schools for many years.

PPTA behaviour taskforce member Mike Williams said bullying was a complex and serious issue that could disrupt school life, affect students health and wellbeing and impact on their education and life in general.

It also had a serious impact on staff wellbeing, he said.

“Effective bullying prevention involves the whole school community – staff, students, parents and whānau. It means having well-planned responses in place for when bullying does occur.”

There was already a lot of good work happening in bullying prevention and response across New Zealand but a coordinated approach was needed, he said.

“Real change happens when students, staff and parents have input into bullying prevention policies and decide together to make their school a place of tolerance and respect for all students.”

Pink Shirt Day’s message of celebrating people’s differences and highlighting the impact of bullying tied in well with the new guidelines, which were BPAG’s first step towards supporting schools in this area, he said.

Bullying prevention and response can be downloaded at:www.education.govt.nz/bullyingprevention

Pink Shirt Day resources can be found at:

Website: http://www.pinkshirtday.org.nz
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PinkShirtDayAotearoa
Twitter: @pinkshirtdaynz

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