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‘Shifting the problem’: Concern over Coalition’s ‘zero tolerance school’ bullying policy

Social commentator Jamila Rizvi has raised concerns about the Coalition’s “formulaic” three strikes and your out anti-bullying policy.

Ms Rizvi, who is also the Editor-at-Large of Future Women, said she had a mixed reaction to the state Opposition’s policy announced today, which includes serial offenders attending disciplinary hearings after receiving two warnings.

Related: Opposition unveils new policy on bullying program in Victorian schools

During her regular segment on 3AW Drive, she said it was important to empower educators and trust their decisions when it comes to dealing with bullies.

“I worry that this three strikes policy, that doesn’t give us enough room to think about the causes of bullying, isn’t necessarily going to be the best approach,” she said.

“You start shifting the problem, if a kid gets expelled they are going to go to another school.”

She said it was important for governments when developing policies to think about the victim, and also the bully who needs to be re-educated.

“You have a responsibility to educate that kid,” she said.

She said she was concerned by a one size fits all approach.

Tom Elliott: I don’t have equal concern for the bully and the bullied. 

Jamila Rizvi: Most people would agree with that, my concern with is that this is an easy way to score some political points but it feels like a bit of a bandaid.

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