Bullying in any form, is unacceptable. My community has made a stand against bullying, and I couldn't be more proud.
Bullying may be defined as the activity of repeated, aggressive behaviour intended to hurt another person, physically or mentally. Bullying is characterised by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person. Many people will be a victim of it at one time or another throughout their lives, and at varying levels.
My personal experiences with bullying at school were horrible at the time. I would like to think that it made me a stronger, more resilient person. Thankfully, neither the bullying nor the resulting effect were as extreme as many. As a parent, I would hope that my children do not have to deal with bullying. I know, that if they were the instigators of the bullying, I would be deeply horrified.
Rally for Respect was held for the first time in October 2012, and will hopefully be a regular event.
The Rally started as an idea of some local High School students, and turned into an impressive event of over 1000 people involving 10 local schools, the students, teachers, and members of the community. Premier Lara Giddings marched amongst the people, along with some other State and local leaders.
The huge assembly of people gathered at Arthurs' Square where they heard the heart-wrenching story from Chloe Cunningham, of her experience with bullying. More of Chloe's story can be seen on the website, Angel's Goal.
Rally of Respect 2012 brought the subject of bullying out into the open. People were discussing it and telling their own personal tales. The students were hearing about bullying and the consequences everywhere. My children are only 5 and 8, but were proud to be a part of something so important to so many people, and were so excited to bring home their own Rally of Respect wrist band. The media has really taken an interest, so the photos in the paper and the coverage on TV show them that this is an important issue for everyone.
We look forward to the next Rally of Respect.
Please feel free to read more about the Rally:
ABC Hobart article
New Norfolk News blog
The Mercury article
The Examiner article
The Premier of Tamania's media release