Year 8 boy ‘bullied to death’ – Petition for Change

josh

There’s a petition on change.org asking the Queensland, and Federal Governments of Australia to enact ‘bullying laws’ to protect children.

The petition starts with the following….“My son was bullied to death. It’s time for national anti-bullying laws.”

Josh was only in Year 8 at school.  He withstood many months of taunting by a group of boys until he couldn’t take it any more…and he took his own life.

While we have workplace anti-bullying legislation…there is nothing in Australia to protect our children.

Parents of ‘schoolyard bullies’ need to step up to the plate and take some responsibility for their offspring. And schools need to shoulder greater responsibility when they’re made aware of bullying behaviours among children. Putting bullying in the ‘too hard’ basket…and then ignoring its occurrence is not acceptable.

Far too many of our children and young adults are taking their lives over something that is preventable…given the right tools.

We need to get serious about this. No child, anywhere, should feel they have no option left but to take their own life.

-JW

Anti-Bullying policies – not worth the paper they’re written on

policies

There was an interesting article in the Sydney Morning Herald (online) yesterday titled, Why aren’t bullying policies effective?

In a nutshell, the article discusses one of  the biggest hurdles to the effectiveness of anti-bullying policies in the workplace…when senior people in the organisation don’t enforce them.

All too often anti-bullying policies are relegated to a shelf somewhere to gather dust.

This article is ‘spot on’. A change in workplace culture is the only way to effectively eradicate bullying from the workplace, and that “Change has got to come from the top”.

We’re interested in knowing…is the anti-bullying policy in your workplace promoted, or is it gathering dust?

 

Workplace Bullying – Just ‘faulty’ communication skills?

I came across a Facebook post a few weeks back that started off like this:
I attended a workshop through work for bullying and harassment a few weeks ago.

At this point I’m thinking…it’s good to see that workplaces are taking bullying seriously enough to provide workshops and training for their staff.  And the post continued:
It’s interesting because it’s completely up to the receiver whether or not anything someone says or does is considered offensive/bullying.

Right about then I have to admit…I did a double take! So I read the comment over again (just to make sure my eyes weren’t lying to me).

Granted, some people may misinterpret the odd statement, or glance. But as a general rule, when someone is stealing your work and claiming it as their own; when someone regularly humiliates and berates you in front of your work colleagues; when someone regularly sabotages your work efforts, or denies you the resources to complete your work…then it’s a pretty safe bet you’re being targeted by a workplace bully…it has nothing to do with ‘perception’, or ‘faulty’ communication skills.

In light of the introduction of the Anti-Bullying jurisdiction on 01 Jan 2014, maybe this is how some Australian workplaces are planning on addressing workplace bullying – by denying it’s occurring.  And what happens when a staff member does draw attention to its existence? I’m guessing they’ll be told they’re “mistaken”, or their “perception was wrong”.  And at that point the investigation into a claim of workplace bullying will end right there.

-JW