By Melissa Blewitt
On Friday, 14 May, Condobolin High School students were encouraged to wear blue to celebrate kindness on ‘Do It For Dolly Day.’
Students and staff embraced its messages to be kind, dress in blue and take a stand against bullying.
The Student Representative Council (SRC) made blue cookies and handed them out to students and staff to share kindness around the school.
‘Do It For Dolly Day’ is about bringing the community together to celebrate kindness and unite in taking a stand against bullying.
“By coming together and getting behind the cause, people will encourage their mates to do the same and, before long, everyone will feel brave enough to speak out against bullying,” says Dolly’s father, Tick Everett.
‘Do It For Dolly Day’ is an initiative of Dolly’s Dream.
Dolly’s Dream was created by Tick and Kate Everett following the shattering loss of their 14-year-old daughter, Dolly, to suicide, after ongoing bullying. Dolly’s Dream is proudly brought to you by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.
Tick and Kate’s goal is to prevent other families walking this road. Their goal is to change cultures and behaviors to prevent bullying, by increasing understanding of the impact of bullying, anxiety, depression, and youth suicide and by providing support to parents.
With recent research showing half of young people in Australia have experienced cyber bullying or other hurtful online behavior in their lifetime, it’s never been more important for families to say ‘no more’ and to learn the seven signs that your child is being targeted.
The seven signs include: They become upset or anxious when using their devices; They suddenly stop using their devices; They lose interest in things they used to enjoy, or struggle with mood changes; Unexpected changes in friendship groups; A decline in school work; Avoidance of school or clubs; and Avoiding other teens or seeming lonely, depressed, sad or anxious.
Dolly’s Mum, Kate, has called on all families this year to learn more about the signs of online bullying.
“We know that only about half of teens who’ve been online bullied tell their parents about it,” she explained.
“Some teens hide their experiences of online bullying so well that their families have no idea anything is wrong. But many others show warning signs.”
Meanwhile Tick, Dolly’s Dad, has urged everyone to say yes to kindness and no to bullying.
“We can all show compassion, tolerance, respect and sensitivity towards other people. When we feel empathy, we are less likely to bully others,” Tick said.
Psychologist Dr Charlotte Keating says if parents or carers suspect that bullying might be happening, to try and remain really calm.
“Try and get to the bottom of what is going on so that you are able to take the steps you need to either stop it from happening or take the evidence, report it, and block if need be,” Dr Keating stated.