I applaud Dr. Jon Gerrard, leader of the Liberal Party for making a case for respectful schools and workplaces, however what I do not agree with is the need for another piece of legislation to deal with this situation. Legislation will not solve the problem. There are enough legislation in place and policies to support respectful workplaces. Perhaps the Workplace Health and Safety Act could be beefed up with a little more teeth. But what we need is workplace and schools to take this issue more seriously. Perhaps in each school or workplace there might be a Bullying Officer who would address with bullying situations and recommend consequences that will deter people from behaving this way in schools and workplace. In the workplace a person might be sent for sensitivity training, might be suspended for a week or so without pay, or be terminated from their jobs if it is proven that bullying tactics are being used.
In most cases when people bully the underlying issue is that that person feels powerless, does not know how to solve the problem they are confronted with and feels that by bullying another person, putting them down, dehumanize them and then threaten their jobs they can get a person to work. It does not work that way.
Employers also need to promote competent persons in management positions, problem solvers, empathetic people and people who respect human dignity. To promote a person to management and supervisor positions just because they've been with the company a long time or know how to weld, or build things or can speak properly are not enough, the human relations component is key.
As for schools teachers and principals should be given more powers to expel a child or recommend a special school for belligerent children who fail repeatedly to conform to the community standard of behaviour in the school. Parents have a big role to play in ensuring their children are properly nourished both physically and emotionally. We all have a role to play. When children feel that they don't matter, they do not think others matter as well. Parents need to be there for their children and to model good behaviour, teachers also need to model good behaviours.
More legislation will not be the answer but community approach involving business, organizations, parents and government.
And that's the way I see things