Youth Take Anti-Bullying Stand; Students Facilitate Forum with Strong Opinions Accompanied by Rap Music

Article excerpt

Byline: PETER WEEKES peter.weekes@northernstar.com.au

TO A rap beat booming from a ghetto blaster, Casino TAFE students yesterday set the scene for an anti-bullying forum that attracted more than 130 young people from Casino to Byron Bay.

"There's no safe way to bully, they're all the same, you can feel the pain words running through your brain, you'll never know where it leads, the hurt it feeds," the five young TAFE students rapped.

Casino TAFE student Shannon Marsh, who said she had been a victim of bullying, said students wrote the lyrics to spark a debate about the issue in a way young people could understand.

"There is so much bullying and stories about victims that we wanted to look at the positive side and how we can deal with it," she said.

Shannon said the youth forum was important to look for solutions to the vexed problem.

"It helps us understand where bullying comes from and how we can stop it," she said.

Fellow TAFE student and mother of a three-year-old daughter, Michelle Krebs, said she had noticed bullying even at her daughter's young age. "It is important to try and find solutions and to start young with children," she said.

During the free-flowing and solution-driven discussion, teen magazines came in for criticism for their focus on body weight and image. …