Stop the silence, speak out, you have a voice and your life matters

Silence is not your friend, silence will force you into the shadows and through a misty journey along a lonely path. Speak out, use your voice to share your problems, frustrations and challenges that you are facing. Don’t give silence your voice.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke.
Evil may come in many forms, but history has proved Edmund Burke correct on many occasions. When good people do nothing, evil triumphs. It gains a foothold in our lives and can destroy the lives of our children. The evil (in this case bullying) could have severe consequences and perhaps even lead to suicide.
Suicide is on everyone’s agenda at the moment, yet looking at the statistics we are doing extremely badly as a country dealing with this problem. Interestingly, in the world Unicef report, there appears to be a connection between bullying and suicide. Feedback received from our survey clearly showed that those being bullied feel nothing is being done to help them. They feel isolated, tormented and in extreme cases, suicidal.
The series of articles on bullying printed recently by The Post has resulted in a lawyer’s letter due to what had been written.
On top of that, The Post has also received three letters describing the articles as the worst journalism these readers had seen ‘in ages’ and that The Post, myself in particular, should be ashamed of what we had written.
Personally I take no pleasure in reporting that there are a large number of children who are struggling to deal with life because of bullies. I am voicing what they cannot.
We talk about children being bullied on a daily basis and according to them, nothing is being done about it, even though they have spoken out.
For now, they suffer in silence. In most of the survey forms received back, there was a clear indication that the schools have an anti bullying programme in place. However, according to some, it is not effective or nothing more than a ‘tick box’ exercise.
The Post, has been on the forefront of reporting on local community issues and will continue to do so. We will not be silenced. We will not allow our young people to stand alone. We will give them a voice and will continue to advocate for change where possible.
We strongly encourage young people to speak out, to be heard and to break the silence.
We live in a world that seems to favour appearance and reputation over all else.
Things will only change when good people are prepared to stand up and be a guardian for those in need. When we are able to place our feelings aside and actually address the real issues at hand, only then will change happen.
The Post would like to call on the Minister of Education to overhaul the anti-bullying programme within our schools.
We would like to see an independent body put in place that will investigate, make recommendations and place vital resources into schools to assist them in dealing with these issues.
An annual survey of parents and students should also be undertaken at each school to give the students a voice in how the school is preforming when it comes to dealing with bullying, and other sensitive issues like mental health.
Until you measure the effectiveness of anti-bullying programmes, you will never know the impact.
Perhaps a teacher is being bullied, a student, a parent? What if that person was you or someone you knew, what would you like to see take place?
Sadly, the issue seems to go far beyond schools as pointed out in the letter on page 2. It is a real issue and one that we can no longer brush aside. If you have story to tell or feedback on this article, email us at : feedback@thepost.nz
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