All members of the college community, children and adults, have the right to be respected as individuals and to enjoy a safe and supportive environment. A whole school approach is essential to building socio-emotional strength in each member of our community and reducing behaviours – such as bullying – which negatively impact upon each of us.
Our school-family-community partnerships are an important component to addressing issues which can lead to anyone feeling unsafe at school.
The United Nation’s Children’s Rights Convention celebrates the right of children to enjoy childhood.
ARTICLE 19: You have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated in body and mind.
ARTICLE 39: You have the right to help if you have been hurt, neglected or badly treated.
Bullsbrook College staff utilise the Friendly Schools resources to support our efforts to reduce bullying behaviour.
“Friendly Schools is a multi-component, evidence based, whole-school initiative involving the whole-school community to build social skills, create supportive environments and significantly reduce bullying in school communities. It draws on 13 major research projects conducted over 15 years involving 27,000 Australian school students.”
Professor Donna Cross www.friendlyschools.com.au
Research by the Friendly Schools Team – led by Professor Donna Cross – has shown that “bullying is learned and a clear marker for further violent behaviour and mental health problems”. The research also shows that “connectedness to school, family and community have been identified as important factors contributing to children’s resilience and social, emotional and physical health”.
Learning is affected when we feel unsafe or diminished as a person because of bullying by others. Long term mental health is also potentially affected when we are victims of bullying. Building a culture that is one of kindness and support and which values diversity is vitally important to protecting and strengthening our sense of wellbeing.
Violence, harassment and bullying are wilful acts to hurt, threaten, isolate or frighten. These acts can be physical and/or verbal in nature and can include property damage, assault, racial and sexual harassment, rude gestures, spreading rumours, “putting down” someone, intimidation and extortion. Ongoing in nature, bullying behaviour is reinforced by another’s pain, fear and humiliation. Some students are both victim and bully.
Violence, harassment and bullying affect everyone – not just the bullies and victims. They affect other children who may witness the bullying act itself or the resulting distress of the victim. These behaviours damage the atmosphere of a class and the climate of the college. Violence, harassment and bullying will not be tolerated in this college. It is everyone’s responsibility to prevent these behaviours happening in order to develop a college-wide ethos of cooperation.
The college will always seek to support students who are being bullied with a wide range of strategies. Some of these include recording incidents, contacting parents, applying sanctions to bullies as enforcement of school rules, problem solving and conflict resolution processes, appropriate modelling, curriculum, supervision, safe areas, counselling, mediation, discussion, and role-play. Records will be maintained for students with a history of violence, their behaviours will be monitored closely with appropriate parental contact and sanctions. Staff will be informed.
Reporting Anti Social or Bullying Behaviour
Our behaviour management policy has documented procedures for staff for reporting behaviours which contravene our school’s procedures for building in each student a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities.
Parent contact with the school is encouraged as close to the incident as possible.
Throughout the year strategies for reporting or managing such behaviours are publicised at assemblies, in House meetings and cohort meetings, via our newsletter/website and around the school.
Cyberbullying is the same as regular bullying but involves the use of technology. Use of telephones, emails, internet and videos/photos to humiliate or abuse someone are all examples of cyberbullying.
Everyone should be involved in preventing bullying including parents and other adults caring for children in and out of school. Monitoring electronic devices used by children is an important part of protecting our children from bullying as well as preventing bullying.
Experienced staff at our school are also very willing to support parents who are seeking further information and advice. Our school Psychologist is able to assist students and staff. So too are trained members of our Learning Support Team.
National Day of Action – Friday, 20 March, 2020