Alex Marstella graduated from WSHS and went on to pursue a career in education.
Alex Marstella graduated from WSHS and went on to pursue a career in education. iStock

How breakfast, music is helping to combat bullying

TRAUMA training for teachers is an important step in addressing behavioural issues according to a former Warwick teacher and student.

Alex Marstella graduated as vice-captain from Warwick State High School in 2007 and went on to become a teacher himself after teaching in Warwick for six months.

Now working in North Queensland with students from trauma backgrounds, Mr Marstella said it was important for teachers to address bullying in a broader context.

"There are so many things you can't see without certain training," he said.

"You need to know the background before jumping on them. That bully might have been abused before coming to school each day, for example."

Mr Marstella recently developed a program for high school students that empowered them to develop their own strategies for promoting good behaviour.

Now two years in, Mr Marstella said the program had positive results.

"I think building up the students' capacity to deal with confrontations is much better than kids going home and telling parents and then parents feeding back to the school," he said.


REMOVED: A Warwick mother has decided home schooling is the only option to protect her younger children from the relentless torrent of bullying that drove her son from the town and family he loved.
RESOLUTION: A former Warwick teacher has developed a program that empowers kids to take imitative. Marian Faa

Activities like school breakfasts and playing music over the school speakers were making a difference according to Mr Marstella.

"We are already seeing initiatives are being run by students which is creating a positive activity that is stopping kids from fighting or mocking each other."

Mr Marstella said being under pressure and having large workloads was not an excuse to ignore bullying or bad behaviour.

"We are teachers, we have gone to university and trained for skills and time management is one of them," he said.

"Technically bullying should not be initially on the teacher.

"You report it and it goes to the guidance counsellor or head of department and they are given the time to deal with it. So maybe some teachers are taking on too much."

If you or anyone you know is affected by this story, phone 24-hour Kids Helpline on 1800551800 or Lifeline on 131114.