Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has called for a nationwide-push to stamp out bullying in schools.
Following the death of bullied NT teen Amy “Dolly” Everett, who had been attending a Queensland boarding school, Ms Palaszczuk promised her government would work to put the search for answers on the national agenda.
“We need to raise awareness around this issue and we must have a national conversation and action about how we tackle it, as we have done on family and domestic violence,” she said.
Ms Palaszczuk said she will “re-dedicate” the government to working with children, parents, schools and the community to help stop bullying.
More than 817,000 Queensland kids will return to school this week, and Ms Palaszczuk said she knew many would be apprehensive about the prospect of facing bullies again.
She said the rise of social media and cyberbullying had extended the problem well beyond the schoolyard.
“From the classroom to bedroom, some young Queenslanders feel there is no respite from criticism or worse,” she said.
“Imagine receiving – repeatedly – the message: You are not wanted and no one likes you’?”
Ms Palaszczuk urged parents to talk to their children about the problem.
“Are they receiving bullying messages on their phones and devices? Are they aware of classmates who are receiving them? Or, and let’s be frank, is their child sending these messages? Because some are.”
“As Premier, I do not know who is to blame, but I know we all need to be part of the solution.”