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Schools line up in great bullying debate


May 24, 2018 by admin

CYBER bullying is a whole-of-community responsibility, winners of the Gellibrand student representative council debate successfully argued on Thursday.

The topic for debate was: “It is the responsibility of parents to prevent bullying, including cyber bullying”.

After a closely fought battle, students for the negative side successfully argued that everyone had a role to play, including the media.

Speakers for the affirmative side were Braybrook College’s Nhi Tran and Eltayeb Eltayeb, Maribyrnong Secondary College’s Michael Savarin and Williamstown High School’s Hannah Ross.

Arguing that cyber bullying should be dealt with holistically were Anna Nguyen of Gilmore College for Girls, Footscray Secondary College’s Rosie D’Argent, Bayside College’s Irena Vecris and Emmanuel College’s Michael Ricci.

Anna Nguyen told the Weekly that bullying needed to be dealt with differently because current measures weren’t working.

“I really do believe the community should take part in the stopping of cyber bullying and actual bullying at schools,” she said.

“It is a big problem at our schools. The schools are trying to do something, but they keep repeating every year. It doesn’t do much.

“Cyber bullying, I think, is a really big issue right now because the age keeps getting younger and younger every year.

“I hope the government’s going to do something about it and it’s going to get [bullying] reduced some day.”

Federal Attorney-General and Gellibrand MP Nicola Roxon, who was on the judging panel, said the government was trying to ensure laws kept up with changing patterns of behaviour.

“But, ultimately, it is a whole-society problem,” she said.

“I am convinced by the argument that parents, governments, society, media, everyone, needs to be involved in finding solutions to this.”

The winning team will tour Parliament House next month, meeting federal ministers and attending question time.

Goya Dmytryshchak was on the four-member judging panel, which also comprised two representatives of the Debating Association of Victoria.

Winning argument: Anna Nguyen listens as Rosie D’Argent and Irena Vecris plan rebuttals.


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