Tamworth youth rally to wage war on bullying

AN ARMY of anti-bullying crusaders marched down Peel St early yesterday morning, taking a stand against the alarming epidemic.

With their war paint on and orange-and-black placards held high, the passionate demonstrators chanted for an end to bullying as they pounded the pavement up both sides of the street. 

The head-turning group, made up of predominantly school kids and local service providers, were adding weight to the Bullying, no way! campaign, which formed part of yesterday’s national day of action against bullying and violence in schools.

It is the first year Tamworth has been involved in the march, which has been running nationally for four years.

headspace Tamworth started planning the rally about two months ago and centre manager Helen Carter said she was bowled over by yesterday’s response.

“There’s already been a lot of requests and feedback to make it bigger and involve more people to continue spreading the message next year,” Ms Carter said.

“Excitingly, most of it’s coming from the young people on the walk, which I think is a measure of its success.”

One in four children in Australia will experience some form of bullying, according to Kids Helpline.

The organisation received more than 700,000 direct contacts and links to self-help activities from children and young people last year alone.

Ms Carter said she hoped next year more residents from an older demographic would throw their support behind the cause.

“Something to look at is challenging the views around how much bullying is happening in the workplace for older people,” she said.

“We know with social media and cyber-bullying younger people are being targeted, but not many people know one in five people are bullied in the workplace.”

If you need help, visit kidshelp.com.au or free call 1800 551 800.

Top anti-bullying tips:

Remember it's NEVER your fault;

Walk away and tell a teacher or someone at school about the incident;

Respond to the bully - it can help give you a greater sense of power and control;

Talk to someone that you trust and keep a diary of bullying occurrences;

Take action - block the bullies from sending you messages or emails or stay offline for a while; and

Keep copies of abusive messages as they can be used later as evidence.

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