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Kiama Public School

Kiama Public School

Let Your Deeds Shine

Telephone02 4232 1471

Emailkiama-p.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Bullying & harassment

Kiama Public School Anti-bullying plan

This plan outlines the processes for preventing and responding to student bullying in our school and reflects the Bullying: Preventing and Responding to Student Bullying in Schools Policy of the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities.

In establishing our Anti-bullying Plan, we have ensured that all stakeholders have had the opportunity to express their concern and ideas in relation to bullying, the protection of all members of the school community, the plan to prevent bullying, early intervention strategies and response to any reports of bullying, including cyber bullying. The recent reformation of a behavior committee provided valuable input into the policy, which was then presented to all staff for feedback.

Parents and community members were invited to view a draft version of the plan through the P&C Committee. Parents were encouraged to provide feedback over a two week period. The plan will be implemented from Term 4, 2017 and evaluation will occur on an ongoing basis.

Statement of purpose

At Kiama Public School, we take bullying very seriously. We are committed to providing a safe learning environment for all students, promoting respect and valuing diversity.

Students have the right to expect that they will spend the school day free from fear of bullying, harassment and intimidation. Bullying must be taken seriously and it is not accepted in any form. 

Any inappropriate behaviour that interferes with teaching and learning, student safety and wellbeing cannot be accepted. Managing bullying behaviour is a shared responsibility between all school and community members.

As a result of implementing an anti-bullying plan, we will aim to see:

  • The provision of a safe environment for students to learn and play,
  • Continual reduction in incidence of bullying,
  • Increased performance in school work,
  • Staff utilising the plan and procedures as set out in this plan, and
  • Parents recognising and supporting the school's anti bullying plan.

Protection

Bullying:

  • Devalues, isolates and frightens.
  • Affects an individual's ability to achieve.
  • Has long-term effects on those engaging in bullying behaviours, those who are the subjects of bullying behaviour and may have an effect on the onlookers or bystanders.

Bullying can be defined as repeated verbal, physical, social or psychological behaviour that is harmful and involves the misuse of power by an individual or group towards one or more persons. Cyberbullying refers to bullying through information and communication technologies.

Bullying can involve humiliation, domination, intimidation, victimisation and all forms of harassment including that based on sex, race, disability, homosexuality or transgender. Bullying of any form or for any reason can have long-term effects on those involved including bystanders.

Conflict or fights between equals or single incidents are not defined as bullying

Examples of bullying behaviour are:

  • Verbal - name calling, teasing, abuse, putdowns, sarcasm, insults, threats.
  • Physical - hitting, punching, kicking, scratching, tripping, spitting.
  • Social - ignoring, excluding, ostracising, alienating, making inappropriate gestures.
  • Psychological - spreading rumours, dirty looks, hiding or damaging possessions, malicious SMS and email messages, inappropriate use of camera phones and other forms of technology.

Students, teachers, parents, caregivers and members of the wider school community have a shared responsibility to create a safe and happy environment, free from all forms of bullying.

Students can expect to:

  • Know their concern will be responded to by school staff.
  • Be provided with appropriate support (for both the subjects of and those responsible for the behaviour).
  • Take part in learning experiences that address key understandings and skills relating to positive relationships, safety, gender equity, discrimination, bullying and harassment.

Students have a responsibility to:

  • Behave appropriately, respecting individual differences and diversity.
  • Respect others and follow the school anti-bullying guidelines.
  • Respond to incidents of bullying according to their school anti-bullying guidelines.

Parents and caregivers have a responsibility to:

  • Support their children in all aspects of their learning.
  • Be aware of the school anti-bullying guidelines and assist their children in understanding bullying behaviour.
  • Support their children in developing positive responses to incidents of bullying consistent with the school anti-bullying guidelines.
  • Support all students of the school to deal effectively with bullying through the strategies of the anti-bullying guidelines.

Teachers have a responsibility to:

  • Respect and support students in all aspects of their learning.
  • Model appropriate behaviour.
  • Respond in an appropriate and timely manner to incidents of bullying according to the anti-bullying guidelines.
  • Teach the social skills/anti-bullying program.
  • Monitor students responsible for bullying and students who are being bullied.

Prevention

All staff, students and community work together to provide a school culture centred around the absence of bullying.

  • Students will participate in regular lessons based on providing students and staff with effective strategies to deal with bullying behaviour. Much of this comes through delivery of the ‘Bounce Back' program across K-6.
  • The P&C will continue to provide annual presentations from ‘Brainstorm Productions' focused on skills associated with identifying, preventing, and dealing with bullying and intra/interpersonal relationships.
  • At KPS we offer out of school hours family information sessions where Staff and members of the community (e.g. Police, ACMA) are invited to talk and provide information on this very serious matter.

Early Intervention

Those students who are at risk of being ongoing victims of bullying type behaviour will be encouraged to report directly and immediately to a member of staff that they themselves have nominated when they feel either threatened or intimidated. These early intervention strategies for students at risk will be communicated with all staff. Students will participate in regular Bounce Back lessons and Brainstorm Productions aimed at providing them with essential social skills to build resilience, a strong sense of self and wellbeing. Students participate in regular reminders of what is bullying and how to deal with it. Positive relationships with the Local Area Police Command will continue to provide sessions focused on the concepts surrounding bullying and how to deal with it. The school discipline policy outlines consequences to deal with any bullying incidents.

Response

Incidences of bullying can be reported immediately to any teacher Assistant Principal, or the Principal by students and their parents. Any bullying incidents will be investigated and recorded by team leaders.

Consequences for instances of bullying will be applied as per Kiama Public School's Discipline Policy and if necessary, suspension procedures.

Guidelines for all students

If someone makes you feel hurt, frightened or uncomfortable you do not have to put up with it - take action:

  • Give a verbal warning - ask them to stop. Tell them you do not want to be bullied or harassed.
  • Tell someone you can trust. This may be a friend, a parent, a teacher or a school counsellor. 
  • Request assistance through your classroom teacher or a member of the Executive.
  • Stay calm, confident, positive and assertive. Be prepared to report further bullying.

Guidelines for all parents

If your child complains to you that she/he has been bullied or harassed, do not let them put up with it - take appropriate action and approach the school for assistance. Start with the class teacher.

  • Respond in a calm, positive, confident, supportive manner. Be sure that your child knows that she/he can confide in you.
  • Watch for possible signs that indicate that your child may be being bullied or harassed.

      - Not wanting to go to school, complaints of sickness.

      - Bruises or scrapes they are reluctant to talk about.

      - Withdrawal, moodiness or temper tantrums.

      - Distinct personality changes.

      - Disturbed sleep.

Parents should not approach other students to discuss their concerns - let the school deal with the incident.

Guidelines for all staff

If someone reports to you that they are being bullied or harassed, do not let them put up with it - take action.

  • Respond in a calm, positive, confident, supportive and sensitive manner. 
  • Document the incident and notify the victim's classroom teacher and/or her/his supervisor.
  • Discuss the situation with both parties and try to find a solution.
  • Inform both parties of the options for resolution available i.e. mediation, or further serious follow up if the behaviour persists.
  • Monitor and follow up to ensure the incident has been resolved. Refer to Supervisor, counsellor and Assistant Principal in charge of discipline if necessary for referral to mediation or disciplinary action.
  • Ensure the Assistant Principal in charge of discipline informs appropriate parties for discussion, interview or follow up.

Cyber bullying

Instances of bullying are unfortunately becoming increasingly common through technology outside regular school hours. If students are being harassed online, they are encouraged to take the following actions immediately.

  • Tell an adult you trust. This can be a teacher, parents, older sibling or grandparent – someone who can help you do something about it.
  • Leave the area or stop the activity. People who bully get enjoyment from knowing they've upset their target. Don't let them know they've upset you.
  • Inform the school. If your child discloses that they feel they are a target and are being bullied. It is important that they see that this matter will not be tolerated.
  • Block the sender's messages. If you are being bullied through email or instant messaging, block the sender's messaging. Never reply to harassing messages.
  • Keep a record. Save any harassing messages and record the time and date that you receive them.
  • Advise your Service Provider.
  • Report to the police if necessary.

Principal's comment

We strive to have our values of Respect, Responsibility and Resilience at the forefront of all we do. This Policy encompasses our values as we teach good healthy relationships.

Being proactive, vigilant and consistent is the key. We are fortunate to share a beautiful, caring school community – and we should never take this for granted. We welcome the wider school community in educating our students.

A copy of the full document can be viewed here: KPS Anti-bullying plan (PDF 792KB)