There has never been a better time for students to switch off their devices and get activated. One in five Australian young people experience cyberbullying, according to Reach Out. While a recent Senate Inquiry called on the government to “legislate to create a duty of care on social media platforms” to protect users, schools still have a legal responsibility to minimise bullying and the harm it causes.
The debate is no longer just the sedentary nature of screen time verses physical activity, with the inquiry calling on the Australian Government to approach cyber-bullying as a “social and public health issue”.
Activated Group General Manager Sue McIver couldn’t agree more. “Kids are using social media far too much and it’s making the battle so much harder for teachers, who have a very real duty of care to protect their students from bullying, including cyber bullying,” Sue says.
She believes Activated Group School Gymnastics and Australian School Dance programs help to strengthen all schools’ anti-bullying stance. “We show children that physical activity is so much fun,” Sue says. “We don’t single out children as being stars of the show, every child is treated equitably and our coaches are trained to encourage every student to have a go. “Our programs also focus on building resilience. Students achieve physical feats they never imagined they would. They emerge more confident in their own abilities.”