Anti-Bullying Policy

Rationale

Unfortunately, bullying behaviours can occur at any time during school. At Caloundra City Private School, bullying behaviours are not accepted or tolerated. Bullying which goes unchecked can have a negative impact on teaching and learning in a school. We have a duty of care to all members of the school community to take action against bullying.

For those who try to intervene, it can be difficult without an effective plan of how to do so. Research and practice indicate that for intervention to be effective it must be consistent across the whole school. Research and practice also indicate that intervention must both preventative as well as reactive.

Definition of Terms

Bullying may be defined as:

  • repeated violence, physical or psychological, against a victim unable to defend herself/himself.
  • It can take a number of forms: eg. teasing, threats, assault, property theft and damage, and gestures.
  • The term bullying also includes sexual, racist or disability harassment. It can also refer to a pattern of victimising behaviour on the part of an individual.

Bullying can occur between adults, between students as well as between students and adults in the setting of a school.

The terms bully and victim are shorthand terms that we use, because most people understand, through the use of those terms, the dynamic that we are addressing. We do not seek to negatively label individuals who are involved in bullying. We acknowledge that individuals who bully others are not bullies in every situation. We similarly acknowledge that victims of bullying are not victims in every situation.

Values and Beliefs

At Caloundra City Private School, we believe that :

  • Students have a right to learn in safety. Where students are not safe their capacity to learn is affected.
  • Adults, in the setting of the school, have a right to teach and work in safety. Where adults do not feel safe they cannot teach and work effectively.
  • All members of the school community have a right to respectful, fair and decent treatment.
  • We value diversity and tolerance. Despite our differences (ability, gender, race, appearance or background) we can learn and work together in a productive way.
  • We believe that individuals who have been harmed by bullying need to be believed and protected from further harm.
  • We believe that the harm done by bullying can be repaired, in general, through taking educative, non-punitive responses, which aim at restoring the balance in relationships, which have been affected by bullying.
  • We also believe that in the case of repeat offences, firm and unequivocal action needs to be taken.

Aim of the Policy

The aim of the policy is to signal to all members of the school community that we take bullying seriously and that we will intervene in a way to deal with incidents of bullying in the school in a timely and consistent fashion. The policy will outline basic approaches and strategies that will be used when dealing with bullying when they occur. The Anti-Bullying Policy supports the School Behaviour Management Policy and the Sexual Harassment Policy and Grievance Procedure.

Strategies and Procedures

The policy provides both preventative and responsive strategies.

Preventative Action

It is important that the school community address the underlying causes of bullying relating to school organisational issues, learning and teaching issues and relationship issues.

Preventative Strategies
Education and promotion of the school's Anti-Bullying Policy through Life Skills Program, Assemblies, Posters.
Productive and respectful working relationships established between all members of the school community.
Classroom room rules, routines and processes negotiated and applied consistently.
Adequate supervision of students during breaks, on playground ovals etc.
Modelling of appropriate problem-solving, non-aggressive behaviours by adults in the school.
Active intervention when bullying occurs.
Skilling of students and staff in conflict resolution strategies including peer mediation.

Intervention Pathways for Dealing with Reported Incidents

All cases of bullying, which are reported, will be followed up. Members of the School community are encouraged to report bullying and can do so through a number of people:

  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • Heads of School

Reported cases can be dealt with in several ways. It is recognised, however, that each case is different and may require a special approach. In all cases it is important to ensure:

  • That victims are believed and made safe
  • That the principles of natural justice and due process are followed in regard to students reported for bullying.