Some behaviours clearly bad
ACT children aged between 5 and 10 clearly understand the dangers of cyber-bullying, nominating "watching YouTube clips of people ganging up on another person" as the most unacceptable behaviour they could engage in.
As part of their consultation with 150 schoolchildren aged between 10 and 12 on the issues of bullying and disability, Disability and Community Services Commissioner Mary Durkin and Children and Young People Commissioner Alasdair Roy also consulted 73 students aged 5 to 10 years old at school holiday camp.
They asked the children to rate particular behaviours on a scale of "nice thing to do" to "really bad thing to do".
Eighty-eight per cent of children nominated YouTube clips of gang violence as ''shouldn't do, a really bad thing to do''. ''Laughing at someone every day for a week on the bus'' came second at 68 per cent, with ''name calling every day'' considered unacceptable by 66 per cent of children.
Mr Roy said this aspect of the consultation was really interesting with children apparently understanding bullying was systematic as opposed to one-off wrongdoing.
Children recognised that "taking someone's glasses every day", or "name calling, or laughing at someone every day" were bad things to do, whereas most listed things like "taking someone's bag once" or "name calling once" as "being a bit mean" or "just mucking around".
The commissioners were pleased to see such a widespread recognition among the children that watching filmed gang violence was unacceptable, but warned that students were more accepting of "watching YouTube clips of people being hurt" with just 51 per cent recognising it was a really bad thing to do.
"We really need to keep on talking to these kids about why they think some things are OK, and others not OK,'' Mr Roy said. Emma Macdonald