It seems bullied students are now in the middle of a Catch-22, with some being punished harsher than the bullies themselves.
It seems bullied students are now in the middle of a Catch-22, with some being punished harsher than the bullies themselves. vesmil

YOUR SAY: Suspensions catch bullying victims in crossfire

WHAT role does bullying play in our school's suspension rate?

This was a big question which has been asked on the heels of new data which shows more than 1100 suspensions were doled out by Gympie region schools last year.

While the traditional concerns off too strict rules and unruly students were once again under debate, several readers noted there was another, very complex problem at hand.

"My daughters have both been suspended repeatedly asking particular students to leave them alone they were pushed to their personal limits when the others didn't listen," Jawarrki Williams said.

She said her daughters had told staff about the behaviour, but "breaking point is breaking point".

And, unfortunately, their actions left them at the mercy of the school's guidelines.

 

Concept of accusation guilty shy person girl. Sad embarrassed upset woman in glasses looking down many fingers pointing at her isolated grey wall background. Human face expression emotion feeling
Concept of accusation guilty shy person girl. Sad embarrassed upset woman in glasses looking down many fingers pointing at her isolated grey wall background. Human face expression emotion feeling SIphotography

"The others (get) a slap on the wrist, schools say they don't tolerate bullies but what they do is only protect the fallen as if they are the victim."

Ms Williams was not alone with her concerns, either.

Frances Lane said her nephew was left in the same position.

"Everyday... he was bullied.

"'Spat on', verbally abused, physically attacked coming home with his shirt ripped on two occasions and his school bag thrown in a pond.

"Many reports later and still nothing done. Untill he could not bear it any more. He fought back and guess who got suspended," she said.

The scourge of bullying has become so bad, otherwise innocuous actions are being swallowed by it.

 

Young boy reluctant to go back to school
Young boy reluctant to go back to school MoMorad

While Karla Loren said it was "ridiculous" that students who post a picture on social media could cop a suspension, some said it was an unfortunate case of collateral damage.

"Mobile devices are to be off and out of sight in many schools and posting a photo (assuming of other students) on social media can lead to a whole raft of issues, including bullying or child safety issues," Ashleigh Kahler said.

"This school obviously isn't joking when they state their rules and consequences."

And those consequences can be huge.

Today alone, one Gympie family was left "absolutely shattered" when their 12-year-old son attempted suicide twice after being subjected to incessant bullying and abuse at school.

Which only leaves the question of what to be done, and some readers had ideas.

"Today people are so quick to blame anybody to but those children causing the should be made pay for their actions whether it's school based detention, school based community service etc. it's said it takes a village to raise a child, let the village help correct this behaviour," Jenny Clune said.