Avoiding A “Casey Heynes Bullying Incident”

Casey’s bully story could have been any boy’s story. The country is reeling from this video footage because the video speaks volumes more louder than words and what can really happen in playgrounds all over Australia has been now shown to the world.

This story fuelled a great debate amongst parents and professionals as to what Casey did was right or wrong. I’m not entering my own views as that is not what I’m writing this article for.

What would be more productive to parents and professionals who have their children living this kind of nightmare every day when they wake up and go to school is acknowledgment that bullying can be this real and work together to provide ‘real’ ongoing educational solutions when students are younger to avoid these kinds of arrogant attitudes amongst teenagers.

Quite often incidents are swept out of the public eye of schools and the parents and fellow students are left wondering what will be the long term result of a child being reprimanded or suspended… usually nothing… and as this video depicts – the ‘bully’ is depicted as the ‘hero’ while his classmates jeer him on and then becomes the underdog when his troops rally round him once he’s injured.

You cannot stop bullying but if expectations are set and children kept accountable by fellow peers from a younger age these kinds of incidents can be reduced or avoided. An integral part of my job was to help integrate children with Autism or other special needs into mainstream schools – in order for that to work successfully we developed a fun activity program that could be run by the class teachers in order for fellow students to understand ‘the differences’ and open up and ask the questions they needed to know about the child being integrated. The Kids4Kids Social Acceptance Program also had class management and reward strategies to be implemented in the classrooms so that when the child entered the school, he may have been seen as different – but it was accepted. Because all the students curiosity’s had been addressed and no misinformed rumours could develop. Thus avoiding any isolation or bullying (because all peers were accountable to each other). Over time the program has been rewritten and tweaked in order to cater for any child’s differences and can be done as a refresher as there are different activities for different age groups. It is very simple to follow, all worksheets are provided and activity equipment or book resources listed with links to purchase if your school library doesn’t stock them.

Kids4Kids Social Acceptance Program priced at $10, is an excellent resource for primary schools. The feedback & adaptability is what has made implementing it successful for over 5 years.


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