Bullying is a serious issue in our schools which can lead to devastating consequences like suicide and self-harm in the child being bullied. The Australian Bullying Prevalence Study states that 1 in 4 school aged children (between 8 and 14 years of age) are being bullied in Australian schools every few weeks (1).
Australia is clearly in urgent need of a unified anti-bullying program that’s inclusive, transparent, encompassing of all victims of bullying including those students bullied because of their ethnicity, race, faith, weight, socio-economic status and the many many other reasons why children are being bullied.
The Safe Schools program does none of this. There’s nothing that makes me want to build a tiny house and live off-grid more than the Safe Schools program, in my opinion a social engineering initiative dressed in sheep’s clothing.
There’s actually only one reason for bullying and that is a behavioural issue within the bully. Bullying has little to do with the victim, what they wear, how they look, what they believe, or don’t believe. It makes no difference to the bully.
The fact that the Safe Schools program isn’t actually addressing bullying as a behavioural issue is very troubling. Furthermore, using anti-bullying as a facade for transgender advocacy is evidently infuriating for many, given the political and social backlash for the program.
By correctly addressing bullying as a behavioural issue in school aged children, we’re able to address the problem at grassroots level, paving the way to reducing incidents of things like domestic violence rates and youth suicide rates in Australia.
Children that bully don’t stay children forever. The Safe Schools program lacks unbiased expert advice. Australia needs a program with a clear agenda specifically to combat bullying.
While many parents have been vocal in their opposition to this program there are also many that choose to quietly show their disapproval by turning to options like home-schooling. There’s been a substantial increase in home-schooling in Australia, in some regions by up to 300% (2). The more we try to push these theories onto school aged children, parents will continue to react in the best interest of their child.
Most Muslims won’t engage in any form of discussion on this topic for fear of having words like ‘shariah law’ and ‘extremist’ and ‘homophobic’ being thrown around.
Ask the Muslims who went to school or work the day after 9/11 about bullying. Muslims don’t commit suicide as a fundamental condition of their faith. There’s essentially no suicide statistics to prove the extent of the bullying that occurs against young people of the Muslims faith, or unfortunately sometimes bullying of young people of other faiths that get mistaken for Muslim.
There is no data collaborated on the number of Muslim girls who’ve had their hijab pulled off their heads, been spat at, the racial slurs, the threats… the relentless verbal and physical bullying.
Why are all minority groups and the most vulnerable members of the student body not adequately represented as a part of this ‘anti-bullying’ program? If there was no other agenda, you would expect the Safe Schools program to have an entire section just dedicated to understanding Islam and Muslims.
But what we really need is a program dedicated to instilling wholesome core values in the bully like respect, integrity, human decency, compassion and empathy as the core strategy. A program dedicated to transforming the bully into a productive citizen that makes positive contributions to their families and communities instead of being a liability.
We need to do this now while bullies are still in school, in a way that’s unbiased, inclusive and sustainable.
Lastly it must be stated that people of faith in God who disagree with the choices of the LGBTIQ community are swiftly labelled homophobic.
More often than not it’s not the community people of faith, in accordance with their religious tradition, fear, it’s God’s wrath. No one is perfect enough to pass judgement on anyone else, except God, The Most Glorified. The door of repentance is always open for anyone who wishes to repent sincerely, and God is Most-Merciful, Most-Forgiving.