Bully culture must be stopped

IT HAPPENS at school, on the street, on the internet and even over the phone.

Bullying is rife in Maryborough and something needs to be done to stop it, according to one local couple.

The business owners have seen it first-hand.

Children run into their shop to hide from bullies.

Another boy was bashed up just metres from their business.

And their own daughter has experienced bullying at a Maryborough high school.

They do not want to be identified because they fear they or their daughter could be targeted even more.

“One girl pulled a blade out of a sharpener and told our daughter to use it,” the father said.

“Our daughter took it. Then we took it to the principal and he said ‘that's not a weapon, it's a sharpener blade'.

“Once that blade comes out of the sharpener it's no different to a knife or a razor blade.

“Having a weapon at school should mean immediate expulsion.”

The couple's daughter has been targeted at school, by text message and online.

Last week she was allegedly assaulted in the school yard by the same person who produced the blade.

It was only then that disciplinary action was taken and the bully was suspended for two days.

But because there was no mark on their daughter, the couple was told by police that there was no point in laying charges.

They have seen the effect bullying has had on their own daughter and believe it is a widespread problem.

Several times they have called police because of unruly gangs of teenagers near their shop.

“I've seen a boy get his head smacked in because he wasn't with the ‘in' crowd, he was a bit different,” the mother told the Chronicle.

“I watched it happen but I couldn't do anything.

“I see it happen all the time, and kids running, petrified of these gangs.

“The schools are blase when it comes to fights but the kids text their friends to say there's a fight on and off they go – they video it on their phone and put it on YouTube.”

The parents want schools to get tougher on bullies before a tragedy happens.

“These troublemakers get expelled from one school and move on to the next,” the father said.

“It's probably not the principals that are the problem, but the system.

“The system has tied their hands dramatically – it has to be changed.”

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