“If we’re asking the question, should we have a law, the knee jerk reaction is yes we should have a law, but then you have to ask the question how effective is that law going to be and who is going to police it?” -Barbara Spears, Associate Professor in Education, UniSa

With the rates of bullying amongst Australian adolescents as prevalent as ever, it’s clear among experts that there needs to be a change in our approach to harassment, both in our schools and online.

Studies show that bullied children are much more likely to experience depression, anxiety and feelings of loneliness and isolation than children who aren’t. In extreme cases, the harassment has been connected with suicide.

So the question is, are we doing enough in our endeavour to prevent bullying? Or is criminalising bullying the answer?

Wavelength sat down to chat with Rick Sarre, Adjunct Professor of Law and Criminal Justice at the University of South Australia, and Barbara Spears, Associate Professor in Education at UniSa and expert in bullying, to discuss the new push to criminalise bullying, and whether or not it would be effective in reducing the rates of bullying among youth.

Airdate: November 26, 2018

Reporter: Ashleigh Bagshaw

Photo: Unsplash

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