policies 

ANTI-BULLYING

At Woodend Primary School we expect 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.

The school will provide a positive culture where bullying, including cyber-bullying, harassment and violence, is not acceptable, 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

Definition

Bullying occurs when somebody who is less powerful than another person or a group is deliberately and (typically) repeatedly hurt. 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

Behaviours that do not constitute bullying include:
•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.
However, these conflicts still need to be addressed and resolved.

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

What students can do about bullying: 
Decide if this is a once off incident or part of a pattern. If it is 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 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 and you may use a Bully Box

At Woodend School we are committed to the safety and wellbeing of all students and will investigate and act upon reported bullying. This includes cyber bullying.
 
We use the ‘Method of Shared Concern’ approach to deal with incidents of serious bullying in line with the School Behaviour Management Policy. Research has shown that this approach is very effective in changing student behaviour when compared to an approach of blame and punishment.Briefly the Method of Shared Concern Approach consists of the following: 
•Students involved in the bullying situation are first interviewed individually (those doing the bullying, the person being bullied and any bystanders)
•Each student is asked about the problem and to suggest ways they could personally help to improve the situation.
•Follow up meetings or check-ins provide students opportunities to discuss, reflect and plan how their actions can improve the situation.
•Bullying can be a complicated problem, which takes time and patience to resolve. 

If students choose not to change their actions and persist with bullying parents will be contacted and consequences implemented consistent with the school’s Behaviour Management Policy. This may include:
 •exclusion from class or yard 
• school suspension
• withdrawal of privileges, including computer privileges 
It is important to note that consequences may vary according to individual situations.

At Woodend Primary School we are pro-active in reducing bullying by: 
•Using the curriculum to teach students about respectful relationships, civics and citizenship.
•Implementation of Wilson McCaskill’s Play is the Way program in all classes in the school.
•Teaching students what bullying is, what they can do about it and the importance of supportive bystanders actions and behaviours.
•Teaching students the difference between reporting and dobbing.
•Professional development for staff relating to bullying, harassment, cyber safety and proven countermeasures. 
•Administering a bullying survey twice a year and acting on the results. Results and actions published on the Newsblog.
•Promote students reporting of bullying

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

This policy was ratified by Governing Council in August 2018
 
References:

www.curriculum.edu.au/mindmatters
www.bullyingnoway.com.au
www.eduweb.vic.gov.au/bullying