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Students given the tools and courage to help stop bullying online

Recently the Year 9 cohort watched a cutting edge educational theatre performance on cyber bullying called Verbal Combat. The performance was delivered by two young actors from Brainstorm Productions, a company that help more than 350,000 students each year with anti-bullying, cyber bullying and welfare education programs via a range of award-winning theatre productions. Brainstorm Productions aim is to reduce the incidences of bullying in schools and improve student behaviour and wellbeing.

The main story follows the difficulties a new student encounters when trying to settle into a new school. The presentation dealt with issues such as manipulation and deception. The Year 9 students will follow up this presentation with discussions and activities based on the themes highlighted. It also develops Ormiston’s Christian values of compassion, respect and integrity. The two actors Rachel and Rodney gave a debrief after the show where they unpacked a number of the issues through a question and answer session.

Other issues addressed in the presentation were;

WHO’S responsible?

WHAT drives cyber bullies to send that nasty message, post that hurtful comment or embarrassing photo on Facebook or Snapchat?

WHY are some people more likely to be a target and why is it hard for victims to be assertive or resilient?

WHERE can they go if or when they are being cyber bullied?

HOW can we stop cyber bullying from happening?

The Verbal Combat Program offers a cleverly crafted narrative that allows students to examine these questions AND their own behaviour.

Shaun Griggs
Year 9 Co-ordinator