policies 

ANTI-BULLYING

At Woodend Primary School we desire that everyone is safe, valued and respected and that individual differences are appreciated, understood and accepted. Therefore we will not tolerate bullying or harassment in any form.

Rationale

The school will provide a positive culture where bullying is not accepted, and in so doing, all will have the right of respect from others, the right to learn or to teach, and the right to feel safe and secure in their school environment.

At Woodend Primary School we believe that:
• Bullying is everyone’s business
• Bullying is the systematic abuse of power
• Bullying can involve violence
• Bullying presents itself in many forms and it changes over time. An example of this is cyber bullying which involves using e-technology as a means of victimising others
• Staff and students have a right to be free from all forms of bullying

Students, staff and parents at Woodend Primary School have a responsibility to abstain personally from bullying others in any way, and to actively discourage bullying when it occurs.

Definition

Bullying occurs when somebody who is less powerful than another person or a group is deliberately and (typically) repeatedly hurt without in any way deserving that treatment.

Bullying can take many forms and can be direct or indirect, including the following behaviours:
• Physical – hitting, pushing, spitting, throwing things, getting another person to harm someone
• Social - exclusion
• Verbal – teasing, harassing, name-calling
• Emotional or psychological – rumour spreading, threatening
• Cyber – This includes pretending to be someone else to gain information, posting or sending nasty or threatening messages, posting pictures without permission, threatening using technology

Students, staff and parents at Woodend Primary School have the right to be free of bullying and (if bullied) to be provided with help and support.

Aim

• To reinforce within the school community what bullying is, and the fact that it is unacceptable.
• Everyone within the school community to be alert to signs and evidence of bullying and to have a responsibility to report it to staff whether as observer or victim.
• To ensure that all reported incidents of bullying are followed up appropriately and that support is given to both victims and perpetrators.
• To seek parental and peer-group support and co-operation at all times.

Implementation

Parents, teachers, students and the community will be aware of the school’s position on bullying.

What students can do about bullying:
• Decide if this is a once off incident or part of a pattern. If it o part of a pattern you MUST act. A friend may be able to support you to do this.
• Let the person know that what they are doing is unwanted and unacceptable.
• Log off of the internet or turn off your phone if the bullying is cyber bullying.
• Go to a safe place and seek help.
• Talk openly with your parents – they can help you make a decision about what to do next.
• Report the bullying to a trusted adult at school as soon as possible. Tell the trusted adult what has happened, where it happened, how often it has happened and what you have done to try to stop it.
• Keep a record of what has happened and when the bullying has happened.

Remember that REPORTING is okay, this is not DOBBING.

If bullying is happening to someone else:
• Care enough to do something about it whether it affects you personally or not
• Tell the person to stop bullying
• Be a friend to the person being bullied and support them to report the bullying
• Report to your class teacher.

At Woodend School we will investigate and act upon reported bullying. This includes cyber bullying. We will do the following things to prevent and intervene in bullying situations.

Prevention strategies include:
• Using the curriculum to teach students about respectful relationships, civics and citizenship.
• Teaching students about resilience, social skills, conflict resolution, problem solving and cyber safety.
• Implementation of Wilson McCaskill’s Play is the Way program in all classes in the school.
• Teaching students at the beginning of each year what bullying is, what they can do about it and clarification of the school’s anti-bullying policy.
• Teaching students the difference between reporting and dobbing.
• Professional development for staff relating to bullying, harassment, cyber safety and proven counter measures.
• A bullying survey will be administered and acted upon annually.

Early Intervention strategies include:
• Promote children and staff reporting bullying incidents involving themselves or others.
• Parents encouraged to contact the school if they become aware of a problem.

Intervention strategies include:
• Once identified each bully, victim and witness will be spoken with, and all incidents or allegations of bullying will be fully investigated and documented.
• Students and staff identified by others as bullies will be informed of allegations.
• Both bullies and victims will be offered counselling and support.
• If student bullying persists parents will be contacted and consequences implemented consistent with the school’s Behaviour Management Policy.
• If staff bullying persists the principal will commence formal disciplinary action.

Post-intervention strategies include:
• Monitoring the situation between the students to ensure their safety and wellbeing are maintained.
• Reviewing our yard duty procedures to ensure they are effective.
• Reviewing and evaluating behaviour codes.
• Consequences for students will be individually based and may involve:-
      • exclusion from class or yard
      • school suspension
      • withdrawal of privileges, including computer privileges
      • ongoing counselling from appropriate agency for both victim and bully
• Reinforcement of positive behaviours.
• Ongoing monitoring of identified bullies.
• Consequences for staff will be individually based and may involve:-
      • counselling
      • behaviour education
      • a period of monitoring
      • mentoring
      • a formal support group
      • disciplinary actions

Evaluation

This policy will be reviewed with whole staff, student, parent and community input as part of the school’s three-year review cycle.