Employment Law
Employment Law

Bullying: Not only in our schools

Newshub has recently launched a six-part series, #StandStrongNZ, exploring issues around bullying in schools. A report from Unicef shows that more than one in three Kiwi kids suffer from bullying while at school. In fact, we have the worst rate in the OECD for childhood bullying. Since launching the campaign, many prominent New Zealand figures have shared their stories. One of the most powerful was that of Paddy Gower, who explains that he was bullied at school for his looks. He estimates that he’s been called ugly over one thousand times. At the end of his segment, Jeremy Corbett offers a heartfelt apology:

Perhaps some people should realise that when they’re making what they think is just a throwaway comment or a joke to their mates, that there is a real person on the end of it. And I say that as a bully. I think on Seven Days I’ve used you as a punchline. It was all distance then, I didn’t know you … I apologise.

Duncan Garner has also provided comment, admitting that he also suffered from childhood bullying. He talks about the impacts of bullying, and makes a statement directed straight towards bullies:

You’re getting right under their skin, and you’re paralysing their thought and their movement and who they are as individuals. You’re ripping the spirit from them.

We commend Newshub for starting the conversation about bullying, but the unfortunate truth is; it doesn’t stop at schools. Our offices have seen many tears from the sufferers of workplace bullying. These are New Zealand men and women, young and old, of all ethnicities. No one is immune to bullying, and the impacts are far-reaching. Kiwi’s are suffering.

We need to start talking about workplace bullying, too. Just as it is the school’s responsibility to keep our children safe from bullying, it is the company’s obligation to keep us safe in the workplace; and part of that means, providing us an environment that is free from bullying.

We can all do our part to stop bullying. Stand up and speak out against bullying. Consider your own words and actions, and how they may impact others. If you are being bullied, please talk to someone about it. Our health and wellbeing depends on it.


Published on Wednesday, November 14th, 2018, under Blog

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