The B Word
17 March 2017
Today Avondale School joins with thousands of Australian Schools to take a stand against violence and bullying. Our goal is have our students understand what bullying is, the roles people play in a bullying situation and how we can work together to create a safe and supportive school environment. Bullying has three main features:
• It involves a misuse of power in a relationship • It is ongoing and repeated, and • It involves behaviours that can cause harm (verbal, physical, cyber, exclusion).
Bullying is not:
mutual arguments and disagreements where there is no power imbalance • not liking someone or a single act of social rejection • one-off acts of meanness or spite • isolated incidents of aggression, intimidation or violence.
Bullying can have long-term negative impacts on everyone involved and for this reason teachers and parents need to take immediate action. At Avondale School we work closely with parents and students on cases of reported bullying to find a solution. While this involves consequences for actions, there is far more involved!
Our goals are to support children who are victims of bullying to learn important skills that will make them less likely to be targets. We also work with bullies to help them understand why they behave a certain way and to learn new ways to interact socially. A third area of focus is to develop a positive and inclusive school culture where students feel connected and have a sense of belonging. Research shows that this leads to lower incidents of bullying. Parents can help with this by encouraging children to have positive and accepting attitudes towards students with di erent skills, needs, cultures and backgrounds. Acceptance and tolerance are key to building a respectful culture. Lastly we are strategic about building resilience, positive self-esteem and social skills in all of our students. The Primary Campus is implementing the Bounceback! Program from K-6 for this very purpose, while Secondary students cover these topics in PDHPE classes.
How can parents respond to reports of bullying? • Listen calmly and don’t respond emotionally. Get the full story. • Reassure your child and show them that you understand. • Ask your child what they would like you to do. Helping your child to nd their own solution is much more empowering than sorting it for them. • Discuss possible strategies with your child and role-play situations with them. • Contact the teacher if you believe the situation requires intervention. • Check in with your child regularly.
As Christians we have an even greater responsibility to create a positive and accepting culture, knowing that God challenges us to ‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.’ Ephesians 4:2 Take some time to check out the comprehensive parent resources on the link below and work with us to take a stand against bullyisssng and violence. https://bullyingnoway.gov.au
Mrs Deb Cooper
Head of Primary
Avondale School Principal