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Date PostedJuly 5, 2012

White Card Online News Update: Bullying Begins at School

Prison a possibility for pregnant 16-year-old school bully

A recent incident involving 2 young girls has highlighted the severity of bullying in our society. Bullying at work stems from earlier years and this case may provide some insight as to why bullying continues well into adulthood and their working career.

The Dailytelegraph.com.au has the full story :

A PREGNANT 16-year-old school bully who said she would taunt her victim until she died is risking jail by continuing to stalk her and make death threats, a magistrate said yesterday.

The girl spent a night in custody after being arrested at school in Geelong, southwest of Melbourne, on Wednesday.

The Children’s Court heard how the 16-year-old had been spoken to by police in May about stalking and intimidating the 17-year-old victim by driving past her house, following her in the street, and talking about her at school.

Then on June 27 she posted on Facebook: “I’m going to kill her. F . . . the restraining order, she’s dead.”

The girl pleaded guilty to six charges, including stalking and making threats to kill.

The police prosecutor said she had shown a “complete disregard for the victim, the police and the courts”.

The court was told another student was also under investigation for violating an order taken out by the same victim.

The 17-year-old victim has taken out five court orders against a group of bullies who had repeatedly threatened her in person and on Facebook.

The 16-year-old was released on bail. Sentencing was deferred until October for a Youth Justice report.

Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/prison-a-possibility-for-pregnant-16-year-old-school-bully/story-e6freuy9-1226411517848

The courts have reaffirmed their stance that bullying will not be tolerated. The recent suicide of a young worker, Brodie Panlock who was bullied while working as a waitress outraged the nation and caused Prime Minister Julia Gillard to announce the implementation of a national review into the problem of workplace bullying.

Employers have also been warned to take bullying in their workplaces seriously as this can seriously affect productivity in the workplace and in cases such as these employers are liable to face hefty fines.  The aim of the review backed by Gillard is to look at the nature, causes and extent of workplace bullying.

The teenager killed herself in 2006 after continuous bully proved too much for her to handle. Four men who worked with her were convicted and fined between $10,000 and $45,000 each under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the owner of the business was fined $220,000. According to Gillard young workers are particularly vulnerable to workplace bullying, so new laws, increasing the severity of punishment for offenders to up to 10 years in jail is on the cards.

These 2 incidents highlight the firm stance government and authorities have adopted toward bullying. Employers need to follow suit and apparently parents also need to do their part in preventing school yard bullying to advance to the workplace.

Parents, teachers, employers, managers and supervisors need to look out for the following behaviour and take any accusations of bullying seriously:

  • Unacceptable language and rudeness;
  • Coercive behaviour directed against someone including their property;
  • Unreasonable teasing;
  • All forms of intimidating behaviour including physical assault or threats;
  • Marginalising or ignoring someone;
  • Any form of demeaning behaviour whether business or personal which serves to denigrate the individual being attacked;
  • Abuses of authority.

What steps can workers take if they are being bullied at work?

1. If you have asked the bully to stop and informed them that their behaviour is unacceptable and they still continue with it, check whether your employer has a policy and procedure to follow for workplace bullying. If so follow this procedure.

2. Seek advice from those suitably qualified to give advice such as a Grievance Officer, Health and Safety Representative, Human Resources Officer or Union Official.

3. Make a detailed and accurate record of what happened – place, date, time, persons involved and those present and what was said or done.

4. If needed seek counselling to help you deal with depression or other emotional effects of the bullying.

5. You may decide to lodge a written complaint to your employer. Allow the process to run its course.

Posted by Steven Asnicar

 

Steven Asnicar is regarded as a leader across many fields of industry. In particular, his specialisation across the health, infrastructure, construction, resource and utility sectors has seen him successfully change the dynamics of these industries through the introduction of new strategic, marketing, training and technical frameworks. Steven works closely with industry peak bodies such as Safework Australia, Australian Logistics Council, National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (NATESE) and the Council of Australian Governments in the development of new delivery standards and industry specific programs.

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