The second and final part of ABC’s Bullied tonight features 16 year old disabled student Chloe.
The show has won mostly-support following the first episode broadcast, but there has been some criticism around its hidden camera use, filmed in Queensland.
In this post I am including a statement from Producers which was part of the initial media kit.
Chloe is 16 and suffers from a rare genetic disorder that causes her significant physical disability. From birth, Chloe’s life has been a fight for survival, and she’s battled to be treated the same as any other child. But since starting high school, Chloe has endured relentless verbal and physical bullying. The physical threats especially, have left both Chloe and her parents fearful of her attending school. The consequences of her becoming involved in a fight or a fall could be devastating.
Chloe has tried to ignore her bullies, but nothing she has done has helped so far. Even interventions by her parents and the school have failed to alleviate the problem. Living in a remote town, Chloe’s options for an alternative school are limited, and now she’s at risk of having to drop out of formal, school-based education entirely.
Now both Chloe and her parents have decided to take a stand. Her family doesn’t want to see the bullying behaviour destroy Chloe’s chances for a proper education, so they’ve agreed to allow her to take hidden camera into school, to gather evidence of her bullying. They hope it’ll be a solution to her torment and create a permanent and positive change at the school. But will the controversial plan produce unexpected results?
From the moment we embarked on this production, we were of course mindful of the multitude of issues that the program’s approach would raise – not least the duty of care to all contributors to the program. That meant developing a robust set of protocols and screening procedures, in conjunction with specialist child psychologists and the ABC, that would continue through the production process and well beyond broadcast. The way schools responded when presented with evidence of bullying would also be crucial to the success of the program.
Despite initial concerns, the support we received from Education Queensland, and the individual schools involved, has been admirable, and a recognition that more needs to be done in an effort to reduce the incidence of school bullying in Australia. As program-makers, it’s our hope that Bullied. will deliver fresh insights into the impacts of bullying, and provide a platform for developing solutions that involve everyone – from those being bullied to the perpetrators, bystanders, and their schools. And for the broader viewing audience we hope it will generate comment, debate, and ultimately help effect a change in public attitude, and bring to light an issue that is widely known about, but rarely understood.
Tuesday, 21 March at 8.30pm on ABC.
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800.
Young people and their parents can also turn to ReachOut.com