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ACT Motorists Party would take a hard line on bullying

Date

Noel Towell

School bullies would be deprived of their bus passes and P-plates and their parents would face fines under the Australian Motorists Party's plan to tackle anti-social behaviour in Canberra's schools.

Ginninderra candidate Chic Henry says that the party's education policy also calls for a greater role for physical education, efforts to improve numeracy and literacy and more trades skills to be taught in the territory's schools.

The party has also adopted the Canberra Liberals' policy of boosting taxpayer contributions to private school to 25 per cent of government school funding.

Mr Henry said a cornerstone of his party's approach to education would be a hard line on school bullies, including children engaging in online or telephone harassment.

''To be effective, we will bring together the community, families, as well as teachers and school administrations as well as seeking professional advice to collectively find solutions,'' Mr Henry said. ''We must also develop strong, recognisable consequences for bullying and continuing bad behaviour of students and we must involve families and the police when necessary.''

The former Summernats promoter said that the motorists would introduce serious penalties for children, and their parents, found to be school bullies.

''When a bully is proven to continue with this action, penalties must apply that are effective,'' Mr Henry said.

''Removal of liberties and cancellation of bus passes and in extreme cases, a delay in the opportunity to obtain a driver's licence is a start, followed by fines passed on to parents through the court system. Such penalties would also apply to acts of bad behaviour and vandalism.''

10 comments

  • And about time someone made a stand.

    Commenter
    Nitro Gangster
    Location
    ACT
    Date and time
    September 14, 2012, 8:36AM
    • A very simplistic view of things. Schools are doing their level best to stop bullying. As a teacher for more than thirty years I have noticed two huge changes in children. Firstly they are far less resilient and often categorize someone not wanting to play with them as bullying. Some children complain if another child fails to smile at them. Secondly, invariably these days parents take the side of their child and shoot from the lip before bothering to find out the full story. Irate parents regularly contact schools believing that every word their child has spokenis the gospel truth, often it's not. Many parents do this because they can't be bothered spending the time finding out the real story. Bullying is abhorrent and should be dealt with by exclusion, counseling etc. Many schools use a student management system which involves counseling but do it incorrectly and a half hearted apology is accepted from someone. This is completely meaningless. Things have become much worse since the proliferation of social media. I have worked in schools where parents have taken out restraining orders against another child, yet it was their child responsible for the bullying. Education is a partnership between schools and parents and stopping bullying needs both parties involved.

      Commenter
      Barry Drive
      Location
      Gordon
      Date and time
      September 14, 2012, 9:21AM
      • Well said.

        Commenter
        Martin Says
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        September 14, 2012, 9:37AM
      • Totally agree.... Parents these days blame EVERYONE but their own Children or themselves,....

        Commenter
        Shogunmatty
        Location
        Reality
        Date and time
        September 14, 2012, 9:54AM
      • Granted, it is a simplistic view, but the problem is that bullying today is very different of what it used to be. When I was in school, bullying usually meant some other kid trying to steal my lunch or lunch money. The moment you fought back, the bully backed down. Nowadays bullies tend to be a lot more subtle. Yes, some kids are pretty precious, but you can't ignore every claim of bullying because of those kids. And how do you propose educating parents who won't acknowledge that their little darling is a bully? I know of many teachers who tried to talk to parents of known bullies and the parents generally turned out to be bullies themselves. Your view is also quite simplistic. I don't believe there is an easy solution to this problem.

        Commenter
        BronwynLian
        Date and time
        September 14, 2012, 1:37PM
      • What do people expect. This is the revhead party appealing to the redneck vote. I read today someone refer to them as the One Nation Party on Wheels. I love it, couldn't have said it better.

        Commenter
        Kim.
        Date and time
        September 14, 2012, 7:56PM
    • Whilst there are probably various categories of bullies and reasons for it, there are certainly many whose parents don't discipline them and rush to their defense. The biggest problem with this is that there is certainly no guarantee that the parents of bullies will behave rationally, and that they are likely to be aggressive in some way.

      Commenter
      digda_beat
      Date and time
      September 14, 2012, 9:30AM
      • Of course nobody condones bullying but this would be impossible to implement. An absolute legal minefield.

        Commenter
        James
        Location
        CBR
        Date and time
        September 14, 2012, 10:22AM
        • All well and good but are there are alternatives for when the children involved don't travel by bus or are no-where near the age of driving? My 9yo daughter has been bullied since she was in Kindergarten and as a result has done some bullying herself. I know she's not perfect. However threatening to not let a 9yo get her Ps is hardly going to be effective is is ? And while I can only comment on the children at the school my kids go to, the vast majority don't catch buses - they walk or are driven by their parents.

          However I am all for involving parents more as I don't think this happens nearly enough. Unfortunately, unless a teacher or impartial adult is nearby to capture every incident of bullying (so called and real) - then it is always going to come down to a "he said, she said argument" something I have seen time and time again. No one "wins" and the bully lives to bully another day.......

          Commenter
          Mum
          Location
          Amaroo
          Date and time
          September 14, 2012, 11:48AM
          • If a child is in a care of the parents then the parent should be ALSO responsible for the child's behaviour. After all this is THEIR role - to control and give an example. Schools only teach some skills, parents are responsible for the upbringing of the child. If they don't they fail and should be held responsible. If the parents are not made responsible for their children than the child should be treated as an adult and face the full responsibility for his/her actions as an adult. When the child is not legally ready yet to be treated as an adult, then it is back to his/her carers' and their responsibility. Simple.

            Commenter
            Jerry
            Location
            Canberra
            Date and time
            September 14, 2012, 12:05PM
            Comments are now closed
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