1. Policy Statement
Alamanda K-9 College is committed to providing a safe and caring environment and culture which enables positive relationships to be formed amongst all students and staff and which encourages self-esteem, cooperation, personal growth and a positive attitude to learning and teaching. A clear policy on Bullying (including cyber bullying) and Harassment will inform the community that bullying and harassment in any of its forms will not be tolerated.
What are Bullying, Cyber Bullying and Harassment?
Bullying is repeated oppression, physical or psychological, of a less powerful person by a more powerful person or group.
Cyber-bullying consists of covert, psychological bullying, conveyed through the electronic mediums such as cell-phones, web-logs and web-sites, on-line chat rooms, ‘MUD’ rooms (multi-user domains where individuals take on different characters) and Xangas (on-line personal profiles where some adolescents create lists of people they do not like). It is verbal (over the telephone or mobile phone), or written (flaming, threats, racial, sexual or homophobic harassment) using the various mediums available.
Harassment is any verbal, physical or sexual conduct (including gestures) which is uninvited, unwelcome or offensive to a person.
Alamanda K-9 College will actively promote a positive and welcoming personal environment for all members of the school community. When people are bullied or harassed some effects might be anger, embarrassment, fear and humiliation, loss of self-confidence and reduced function and potential. Bullying and harassment will be addressed, individual differences will be respected and students and staff will be enabled and supported in their pursuit of learning and teaching.
- A school-wide approach will be taken to deal with bullying (including cyber bullying) and harassment in a consistent and systematic way.
- All new students and staff will be informed of the anti-harassment policy and practices at the commencement of their time at the school.
- All complaints of harassment will be heard in confidence and taken seriously.
- Alamanda K-9 Collegewill organise preventative curriculum programs that promote resilience, life and social skills, assertiveness, conflict resolution and problem solving.
- Staff programs will occur periodically to keep staff informed of current issues/strategies for dealing with these issues.
- There will be disciplinary consequences, covering a range of strategies, for those in breach of the Anti-Bullying (including cyber bullying) and Anti- Harassment Policy guidelines and procedures.
- Constructive strategies to deal with harassment will include education in coping strategies, assertiveness training, problem solving and social skills, counselling and behaviour modification. These strategies will be employed in preference to punitive sanctions and negative consequences.
- The Anti-Bullying and Anti-Harassment Policy of the school will be widely promoted to students, staff, parents/carers and the local community.
- A summary of the Policy will be included in the Student Enrolment Package while new staff will receive extensive documentation as part of the school’s induction process.
- The school leadership team and the teachers will work together to ensure the safety of all school members in situations of bullying (including cyber bullying) and harassment, by thoroughly investigating all complaints while respecting the need for confidentiality, notifying parents/carers and planning interventions.
If a teacher feels that a student is at serious and imminent risk from bullying (including cyber bullying) and harassment then it is their professional duty to pass on the information to an appropriate person in order to ensure appropriate support for the student. It is important that teachers document fully their interaction with the student and to verify the actions taken.
- Student programs will be organized to raise student awareness about bullying (including cyber bullying) and harassment, to provide a forum for discussion of matters and to aid development of attitudes. Some matters will be dealt with formally in the curriculum and in peer support programs, leadership programs, extra-curricular programs and occasional activities run by outside experts and workers. The curriculum will include anti-bullying messages and strategies in line with current DE&ECD materials eg: ‘The Friendly Schools’ and ‘No Blame Approach to Bullying’ programs.
- Professional development will be provided for staff relating to bullying (including cyber bullying) and harassment and proven strategies to address these issues in classrooms will be shared with all staff.
- The school will provide specialist resources such as books, videos, kits and off site in-service activities to assist staff in responding appropriately to bullying (including cyber bullying) and harassment issues
- Disciplinary consequences for bullying (including cyber bullying) and harassment will comply with the school’s Welfare and Discipline Policy. The Principal or their nominee will provide disciplinary consequences including suspension in accordance with Department of Education and Early Childhood (DEECD) guidelines.
4. Links and Appendices (including processes related to this policy)
Links which are connected with this policy are:
- “Safe Schools are Effective School’s” (DE&ECD)
- Alamanda K-9 College Student Internet Use Policy (re-cyber bullying)
- Alamanda K-9 College Student Engagement Policy
This policy will be reviewed annually or more often if necessary due to changes in regulations or circumstances