A survey of Tereora College year 9 students has revealed a “worrying” increase in bullying.
So now, students are taking a leading role in fixing the problem, with a peer support programme headed by the school’s student leaders.
Tackling bullying in all its forms and creating a safe environment for young people is a now a school-wide initiative.
Principal Tania Morgan said social media was one cause of a worrying bullying increase.
It was important for the school to provide a safe environment, especially for students new to the big college. “A group from within our student leaders will be championing the ‘Every Child Matters’ campaign and raising awareness of different behaviours that are present in our young people,” she said.
“They will be strengthening the relationships that already exist between our students at Tereora College.”
The student leaders responsible for student welfare have come up with three projects, the first one being a poster competition that addresses bullying.
The school has organised prizes for the poster competition winners.
Morgan said the students are also keen to design an anti-bullying advertisement to run on Cook Islands Television to raise the issue for other schools as well.
They look forward to having an ‘every child matters’ day to promote being healthy and staying safe.
The student leaders are even encouraging school staff to put their names down for the various activities surrounding the peer support and student welfare programmes.
Morgan said the students found it easier to talk to their peers and the student leaders who provided support to those who may be feeling bullied.
Raising the issue and providing support was something the school would like to continue into the future.