News

Kids prove it’s cool to be kind

By Vanessa Wiltshire

DRESSED in colour, many in costume and with their faces painted, students at Holy Rosary School in Heathcote marked the ninth annual National Day of Action Against Bullying (NDA) last Friday.

Over a snag and sauce, they joined 2.4 million school students from more than 5700 schools across Australia.

All were taking a stand against bullying and violence and learning more about positive relationships and communication.

The NDA against Bullying and Violence is held on the third Friday of March each year. It is an opportunity for Australian schools to highlight their every day work to prevent bullying and violence.

The 2019 theme, “Bullying. No Way! Take action every day”, carries on from 2018, “Imagine a world free from bullying”, by inviting school communities to turn big ideas into action.

Holy Rosary School principal Paul Dullard said grades five and six had been involved in activities all week, and some of them had helped co-ordinate the face-painting and sausage sizzle.

“The senior students have been working hard preparing anti-bullying presentations, posters and putting together strategies that will help all students experience safe and enjoyable recess breaks,” he said.

“All students have made colourful ribbons to wear. They’ve also got wristbands.’’

A gold coin donation from each child’s family will be forwarded to the Headspace Mental Health Wellbeing for Youth organisation.

The NDA gives schools the chance to act and empower young people to be part of the solution when addressing bullying in their school community. It provides an opportunity to focus on changes we can all make to help create safer communities for everyone.

One quarter of year four to nine students experience bullying and the impact can be long-lasting. Bullying can happen in person or online, via various digital platforms and devices and it can be obvious or hidden.

‘‘It’s so important to talk about bullying prevention,” Mr Dullard said. “It’s even more important to keep the conversation and positive action going all year round. Everyone has a role to play and I’m proud of how we all work to promote a safe and inclusive culture at Holy Rosary.’’

■For information, visit https://bullyingnoway.gov.au/NationalDay

■If you need help and advice, visit or call Kids Helpline at www.kidshelpline.com.au or 1800 551 800 or Headspace at www.headspace.org.au or 1800650890.

■For information about online bullying, go to www.esafety.gov.au