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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 3 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 730..


MR PRATT (continuing):

are bullying and violent but they are still a significant presence, and they absolutely interrupt and disrupt schooling on a broader scale. And, of course, some of these young kids go beyond the school gates and they disrupt the rest of the community. We have got a disconnect here and we need to see a stronger marriage between police and schools in combating this concern.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The time for this discussion has expired.

Personal explanations

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a personal explanation under standing order 46.

Leave granted.

MRS DUNNE: In the course of Mr Hargreaves's speech on the matter of public importance, Mr Hargreaves raised the issue of a WIN Television news report that related to bullying, and the fact that a particular school was named. Mr Hargreaves implied that I in some way must have supplied that name to the news. I would like to address that issue by reading excerpts from a letter that I wrote to the principal of Charnwood primary school as a result of that WIN News report:

I am writing to you in relation to the WIN News report on bullying in schools, aired on Monday 21 February 2005, in which Charnwood Primary School was erroneously named in the report as a school where bullying is occurring.

I am extremely concerned that WIN News named Charnwood Primary in the report.

I raised the issue of bullying last week in the Legislative Assembly, and spoke about my concerns during the adjournment debate. I prefaced my remarks in the Assembly by saying, "I won't name any people and I won't name any schools."This has been my consistent attitude, as I am concerned with addressing the problem of bullying, not defaming individual schools. I have consistently been asked by the media to name schools and I have declined to do so, for this reason.

In my dealings with the media in relation to the story on bullying that featured on 21 February, I did not name any school, least of all Charnwood Primary, which is entirely blameless in this.

I do not know exactly how WIN News came up with Charnwood Primary as the school concerned. ... WIN News did not contact me to check any details; had I been contacted I would have set the reporter straight regarding Charnwood Primary and would have discouraged them strongly from naming any school, as has been my approach to this issue all along.

During the report that aired on 21 February, I expressed my concerns about bullying and the need to address this issue. At no time did I mention any school. It was WIN News' reporting of the issue that mentioned Charnwood Primary and has subsequently led to a number of concerned parents contacting my office about the issue.

I contacted WIN News this morning-


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