Young people urged to stand up to bullies

The death of television personality Charlotte Dawson is a reminder for young people that bullying, whether online or in the schoolyard, can ruin lives, says Senior Constable Dusan Dakic.

The youth command officer for Parramatta and Holroyd region, who regularly visits local high schools, has joined the call against all forms of bullying ahead of the National Day of Action Against Bullying tomorrow.

"I think it's a really good initiative that gets it out there in the public eye, that says that sort of behaviour is unacceptable," he said.

"A good example is Charlotte Dawson . . . she was basically bullied her whole life . . . What people go through in high school, especially early, traumatic bullying, sticks with them forever."

Senior Constable Dakic asked young people who witness bullying to have the courage to speak up.

"Stand up and support that person, don't be a bystander and let it happen."

For those being bullied themselves, the first thing to do is tell someone it's happening and don't retaliate, as "most of the time, that's what the bullies want".

Each day, the police officer visits local schools to help curb youth-related crime and anti-social behaviour through workshops, responding to school incidents or by acting as a point of contact for principals who need advice.

He's one of about 120 youth command officers stationed across NSW to help reduce youth-related crime and anti-social behaviour. Last week, he gave a cyberbullying workshop at Westmead's Redbank School.

"Cyber bullying is just the same as normal bullying. It has a different name but it has the same impact and it can still be dealt with by police in the same way as physical bullying," he said.

The 2014 National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence campaign was launched on February 17.

Details: bullyingnoway.gov.au.

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