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Mount Morgan Central State School

Anti-Bullying Program

Mount Morgan Central State School is committed to providing staff and students with a safe and supportive school environment free from harassment of any kind including bullying, whether physical, verbal or psychological.
Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person and results in pain and distress to the victim. It is often a campaign over time against a child but sometimes there can be just one incident.

Bullying is a deliberate act. There is intent to hurt and an imbalance of power between the bully and the victim. There is also the issue of the vulnerability of victims.
Bullying can occur in various forms including:
1. Physical – hitting, tripping, punching, kicking, pinching, hair pulling, spitting or threatened use of physical violence.
2. Verbal – putdowns and name calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, persistent teasing, threats, writing awful things about someone, leaving hurtful notes, threats and intimidation.
3. Racial– racial taunts and remarks, gestures.
4. Emotional – being deliberately left out of a group or activity, exclusion, tormenting (Eg hiding books or school ports, ridicule, humiliation, stealing money and possessions).
5. Sexual – unwanted physical contact, abusive, derogatory or homophobic remarks.
6. Menacing – demanding money, possessions or to copy homework, as well as demanding the victim’s or bystander’s silence when bullying has taken place.
7. Communicative – sending letters, e-mails, text messages or phone calls that are threatening, offensive and obtrusive to the recipient. Sometimes called cyber-bullying.
Signs and Symptoms of Bullying:
Often, victims of bullying are reluctant to tell others what has happened. Should a child show some of the following signs, it may be necessary to talk with them to see if they have experienced bullying.
Children may:
  • be fearful of walking to or from school, or may change their normal route to school.
  • not want to go on the bus.
  • be unwilling to go to school or complain of feeling sick each school morning.
  • begin doing poorly in school work.
  • come home with clothes or books damaged or missing
  • become withdrawn, start stammering or lose confidence
  • become distressed and anxious or stop eating
  • lose money or ask to borrow money (to pay the bully)
  • have unexplained scratches, bruises or other injuries
  • begin to bully other children or siblings
  • become aggressive and unreasonable towards family members or teachers.
Indicators of Students who may bully others:
While there is no set description of stereotypical bullying, children who frequently bully share some of the following traits:
  • They feel inadequate to cope with everyday events.
  • They have often experienced bullying themselves from other students or their families.
  • They are victims of some other form of abuse in their lives.
  • They don’t know how, or have undeveloped skills, at showing their feelings and emotions in an appropriate manner.
  • They are not succeeding at school and feel they have no sense of worth.
  • They have themselves been victims of bullying over a long period of time.
Ways Parents can help when their child has been bullied:
When a child has been bullied and is feeling upset, there are a number of positive things that parents are able to do to help them. These may include:
  • Encourage the child to talk about their feelings.
  • Eliminating (if possible) some of the obvious causes of bullying.
  • Building up the self-esteem of the child with encouragement and pointing out their uniqueness and special qualities.
  • Teaching children how to cope with teasing
  • Making a list of some of the ways the child may be able to respond to bullying.
  • Acting out some scenarios and demonstrating the way the child may respond in the role-play.
One of the most important things a parent can do when their child has been bullied is to talk to them about their feelings and what they have experienced. Encourage the child to go through some of the reasons that may have been given about why the child was bullied and see if these may be able to be changed or eliminated.
Student Processes:
DO THE 5
  • talk friendly
  • talk firmly
  • ignore
  • walk away
  • report it
At Mount Morgan Central State School, we explicitly teach students to “Do the 5” when they are made to feel uncomfortable by others. The High 5 Hand is displayed in all classrooms and is an important part of the teaching processes during the establishment phase of each new semester. This is also followed up regularly during school parades.
If students believe that they have been bullied, they should:
1. Tell the person who is bullying in a friendly way that they don’t like it and ask them to stop. (“Stop…..I don’t like what you are saying / doing”)
2. If the person does not stop bullying them, they are to talk to the student firmly - (“Stop Now or I’ll Report It!”)
3. If the student continues the action, IGNORE, WALK AWAY, and REPORT IT to a grown up at the school.
4. Students are encouraged to talk to their parents about the incident when they arrive home.
Students are encouraged to talk with their teacher, principal or a school adult about any account of bullying they have been subject to or have seen.
Staff Processes:

It is important that teachers use their discretion when dealing with an incidence of bullying. Incidents may often occur which are not ‘bullying’ but rather a disagreement between students that will be resolved in the normal course of the school day. Teachers should try to determine the extent of the incident, and whether or not it involves bullying, during their initial discussion with the student.
1. Listen carefully to the student who is making the complaint about bullying.
2. If possible, write down,
a. The name and year level of the student making the complaint (victim)
b. The name and year level of the offending person (perpetrator)
c. The date and time of the incident.
d. Any witnesses to the incident and
e. What the incident involved.
3. Question the victim to determine if this is an ongoing occurrence of bullying or a one off incident and whether the victim can identify any reason for the bullying.
4. If the teacher reasonably suspects that this is an incidence of bullying they should interview the alleged perpetrator of the bullying to establish their actions and their reasons for bullying the victim. The teacher should aim to ensure that the perpetrator of the bullying understands the effect of their behaviour on the victim who has made the allegation and try to establish reasons why the bullying has occurred.
5. The teacher should then arrange a meeting with themselves and the victim and perpetrator of the bullying so that each person is able to share their concerns and feelings. At this meeting the teacher will try to have both parties propose and agree to a solution to the problem to ensure that the bullying will stop.
6. If appropriate, the teacher should put in place an appropriate consequence which may include parent interviews, time outs / detentions, loss of privileges, and in certain circumstances, suspension.
7. The teacher will make an appointment to speak with the victim in a week’s time to reassess the situation and determine if the bullying has been resolved.
8. The principal should be advised of ongoing bullying incidences.
9. Extreme ongoing incidences of bullying may be referred to the District Behaviour Management Team.
Parent Processes:

Parents who have become aware of circumstances of bullying regarding their children are encouraged to follow these guidelines:
1. Ask the child if they have asked the offender to stop the hurtful behaviour.
2. Ask the child if they have reported the incidence of bullying to their teacher or an adult at the school
3. If necessary, make an appointment to speak to the class teacher who is dealing with the bullying incident.
4. If the child reports that the bullying is continuing, please make an appointment to speak to the principal.
Proactive School Approach to Bullying:

At the commencement of the school year, each class will undertake an age appropriate mini-unit during the ‘establishment phase’ of the school year (first fortnight). These will be adapted from quality school based resources such as “Bullying – No Way” and Resilience Programs found in the School Resource Centre. The Anti-Bullying Charter will also form the content of many of the School Assemblies during Term One.

Mount Morgan Central State School’s Anti-bullying Charter for Students, Staff,
Families and Individuals:
  • We will NOT bully others.
  • We will help people who are bullied.
  • We will make sure no one is left out.

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