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Online bullying making its presence felt in Hutt Valley school ground

Mar 18th, 2014 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News, Uncategorized

Top PicBULLYING through social media is making its presence felt in the school yard with physical abuse being put on the backburner, says Wainuiomata High School principal Martin Isberg.

He says the high school has many ways of dealing with bullying; however the main approach is to avoid it altogether.

With programmes such as ASPIRE and the introduction of vertical form classes the idea is to have a buddy system where junior students can confide in the seniors , while at the same time, giving senior students another chance to be a student leader.

ASPIRE is a buddy system between a year 9 class and a group of senior students and vertical form classes is having year’s nine to 13 in the same form class.Mr Isberg Portrait

Mr Isberg (RIGHT) says that even though the initial decision to introduce vertical form classes didn’t get a great response from staff, he went ahead with it anyway.

“It’s just taken off and I can’t believe it.” he says.

Wainuiomata High School now allows students to have cell phones at school.

The principal says that cell phones are  an integral part of life, and families rely on the cell phone for communication.

It also helps the school to deal with bullying through social media and text abuse.

Bullying Poster in story“If kids were being bullied by text they wouldn’t show us because they weren’t allowed their phones. The minute we allowed them to have their phones the students were showing teachers evidence of text bullying.” Mr Isberg says.

Mr Isberg says that bullying has moved out of the schoolyard and into social media, so the schools just deal with the overflow.

When asked if Wainuiomata High, a decile four school, experiences a higher rate of bullying than other high schools, Mr Isberg says that it doesn’t matter about the schools decile, or background, kids will still be bullies.

The high school offers many outlets for children who are being bullied, depressed, or even if they just feel like they need to talk to someone.

If you are the victim of bullying or need to talk to someone about things happening in your life,  call :

Youthline 0800 37 66 33 or Lifeline  0800 534 354


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  1. Jeez, you’re good Nicole! Well done, you’ve got this!

  2. Awesome work Nicole!
    Great photo as well.

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