Every person at Eastdale Secondary School has the right to experience positive and respectful relationships between all members of the school community. They also have the right to learn and teach in a happy and safe environment. Bullying behaviour is not acceptable at Eastdale and is contrary to the school’s discipline code. Bullying exists at all levels in our society. The effects of bullying on learning and adjustment at school can be devastating and far reaching for the student involved. At Eastdale we believe that the whole school community can share the responsibility for combating bullying whenever and wherever it occurs. The importance of reporting bullying at Eastdale is constantly being emphasized through school assemblies, the school newsletter and other initiatives. All reports of bullying are taken seriously and are handled in a sensitive manner.
Definition of Bullying
- It is a repetitive attack, which causes distress not only at the time of the attack but also by the threat of future attacks.
- It is characterised by an imbalance of power.
- Its nature may be:
- Electronic e.g. “cyber bullying”
"Bullying is a behaviour which can be defined as the repeated attack, physical, psychological, social or verbal in nature, by those in a position of power which is formally or situationally defined, with the intention of causing distress for their own gain or gratification". ( Besag 1998)
The aim of any anti bullying strategy is to create an environment where bullying is not tolerated. At Eastdale a twofold approach is used,first with preventative programs establishing a climate that stops bullying behaviour and then reactive programs to deal with any incidences that may arise.
A number of strategies to combat bullying have been implemented at Eastdale. Their aim is to involve the whole school community to create an anti bullying culture across the school and in the community, at large.
Features of this school that deter bullying:
- School policy outlining firm action and appropriate consequences;
- A school ethos that models co-operation;
- Liaison with other schools to identify high risk students;
- Supervision of all students by all staff;
- Communication - staff, students, parents, other agencies;
- Cross Curriculum Anti-Bullying philosophy - information about bullying being presented in the classroom within the subject contexts; and
- Ongoing initiatives meant to increase awareness and respect.
IF Bullying Occurs:
- Tell your parents.
- Tell a teacher you trust immediately. You could also tell someone on the Safe School Council (these people are students you have already identified as people whom you feel are trustworthy and to whom you can share information. They are often seen wearing the red and white Anti-bullying t-shirts)
- Your Student Adviser will be notified by either yourself or by one of the above mentioned staff members. One of the teachers who has been trained to deal with bullying incidents may be asked to interview students involved. This person will assist to solve the problem.
- Where the bullying involves a serious assault, you should immediately report the incident to the teacher on duty or the Vice Principal or the Principal.
- Where the bullying does not stop or where it recurs after a lapse of time it is essential to report the continuation of the problem. It often takes a number of interventions before bullying behaviour is fully eradicated.
- Encourage your children to discuss relationships with other students with you. Open discussion will allow them to raise issues should any bullying occur.
- If your child tells you that they are being bullied at school, encourage them to feel confident that they have the right to report the incident and have that report acted on. Help them to collect information that may be helpful to the teachers following up their report. They may feel safer having a friend go with them to make their report.
- We also encourage students (or parents) to contact the school to report incidents of bullying that may only be evident at home e.g. cyber bullying.
- The online bullying form provided on this website is intended to assist students in making reports of bullying. It is felt that, if a student can make a full disclosure from the safety and comfort of their own homes, from their computer, they will be more likely to make the report. Although the report is not anonymous, the teachers who receive the report will deal with the issue with as much sensitivity as possible.
- By making a disclosure to you regarding bullying a student trusts you to support them in what can be a very difficult situation for them.
- Listen and acknowledge the seriousness of the report. Deal with any breach of the school discipline code at that time.
- Tell the Principal, V.P or Success Teacher. Inform the student/s of this action.