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 Bullying

Bullying is defined as “the repeated oppression, psychological or physical, of a less powerful person by a more powerful person or group of persons” (K. Rigby, Bullying in Schools; What to do about it. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research, 1996)

St Peter’s Behavioural management Policy states that our community commits itself to providing a supportive school environment that values the rights and individuality of each student whilst ensuring dignity, respect and safety for all.

We will not tolerate ongoing bullying at St Peter’s.

Policies used in reflecting on and formulating our response to bullying include:

  • Equity Policy (School-based)
  • Anti-Bullying Policy (BCE)
  • Student Protection Policy (BCE)
  • Information Technology Guidelines (School-based)
  • Privacy Laws (Government Legislation)

There also exists Curriculum Programs, which support students in complying with these expectations and rules relating to bullying. These programs are:

  • Program achieve – You Can Do It
  • Virtues program
  • Cool Schools Program
  • HPE (Enhancing Personal Development Strand)
  • Religious Education (Morality Strand)
  • Individual Education Programs for students with special needs
  • Assertive Discipline.

Procedures for managing bullying

The first step in managing bullying is to establish a firm understanding in all members of our community as to what constitutes bullying, which will not be tolerated, and what is the normal conflict one experiences as part of the socialization process essential for growth as a person.

As part of our commitment to lifelong learning, the first response to bullying should come from the ‘victim’. St Peter’s encourages students to be assertive in defending their own rights. In an instance of bullying we expect students to:

  • Stay calm. Walk away if you are angry, but stay in control.
  • Ask the bully to stop the aspect of their behaviour that is affecting you and how it makes you feel. E.g. “Please stop calling me ‘fatty’ It makes me sad and angry when you do it
  • Give them a preferred option e.g. ‘My name is Ted; please use it. Thank you.”

We term this a LEVEL ONE RESPONSE

If the problem persists, please see the nearest teacher who will understand that you have already made a polite request which has been ignored.

The teacher will then ask the student to cease the behaviour, and will outline the consequences of further bullying. Eg. “Please do as you are asked, or you will be removed from the playground”

At this time, a record of the warning will be recorded in the Playground Duty Log carried by each teacher on duty.

We term this a LEVEL TWO RESPONSE

Should the bullying continue, the child will be removed from the playground for a period to be determined by the teacher on duty and this will be recorded in the Playground Duty Log so that the next teacher on duty is aware of the history and ongoing ‘time out’ for that student.

If a child is placed on time out for three or more times in any one term, they will be asked to explain their behaviour to the school principal, who will forward a copy of the recorded playground incidents to the parents / caregivers along with a recommended course of action.

Possible courses of action at this time include;

  • Restricted access to the playground
  • Counselling / Anger management
  • Withdrawal of privileges
  • Mediation between bully and victims with the aim of reconciliation.

We term this a LEVEL THREE RESPONSE

If Bullying persists beyond this stage, we move into a LEVEL FOUR RESPONSE, which could include the following

  • Formal interviews with the parents/ caregivers
  • Formation of an Individual Management Plan for the student
  • Counselling for specific needs
  • Involvement of outside agencies, including personnel from Brisbane Catholic Education Office
  • Mediation
  • A review of the school’s suitability to meet the ongoing needs of the repeat offender.

NB. Serious acts of physical aggression or acts of a sexual nature will move immediately to a level three response.