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eNews Archive.

– Be Connected. –

A Message from the Dean of Students (1) (1)

All students at The Glennie School have the right to feel safe and supported. We are committed to creating an environment that values the inherent worth and dignity of every individual and that fosters inclusion, compassion, empathy and mutual respect. Everyone has an important role to play in the prevention of bullying. The national definition of bullying for Australian schools is:

Bullying is an ongoing misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that causes physical and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power over one or more persons. Bullying can happen in person or online, and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert). Bullying of any form or for any reason can have long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders.

Single incidents and conflict or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not defined as bullying and should not be labelled as bullying.

This week at Glennie, we literally and metaphorically stood together;  all girls from Prep to Year 12 stood on the oval to form a ‘NO’, making a powerful statement against bullying and violence as we celebrated the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence (NDA). The NDA is Australia’s key anti-bullying event for schools. It is a positive day of action which strengthens our everyday message here at Glennie that bullying and violence are never okay. In support of this important message, all of the girls wore orange hair ribbons, NDA wristbands, agreed to sign a pledge to stop bullying and some were interviewed by our School Captains and asked how we can stop bullying at Glennie. All Middle and Senior Years girls participated in a combined Chapel where Rev’d Sharon challenged inappropriate behaviour and encouraged the girls to act with kindness and compassion.

As a proud NDA school, we have a range of programs in place to develop personal and social capabilities and address bullying, such as Bridge Builders, MFit (Mind Fitness) and PDP (Personal Development Program). The NDA gives us an opportunity to highlight these programs and other initiatives such as the explicit teaching of our core values – respect, compassion, courage, integrity; the promotion of positive social interactions between students, teachers and community; and our Speak Up@Glennie App on the Student Portal where students can report concerns along with negative and positive behaviours. We must work together as a community - parents, teachers, staff and students, to talk about bullying and find workable solutions together.

Parents and carers are encouraged to visit the Bullying. No Way! website for advice and useful information. Parents know their children best and know the best way to tailor communication to their needs. Adapt these tips to what works for you and your child.

If your child talks to you about bullying:

  1.  Listen calmly and get the full story. Your calm response is important to allow your child to tell you all about the situation.  After they’ve told you their story, ask questions to get more details if you need: who, what, where, when. Although you may feel some strong emotions about your child’s experience, try to keep calm to avoid more distress to your child.
  2.  Reassure your child they are not to blame. Many children blame themselves and this may make them feel even worse. You could say things like, ‘That sounds really hard to deal with. No one should have to put up with that.’ or ‘I’m so glad you told me. You should be able to feel safe at school; that’s not fair at all’.
  3.  Ask your child what they want to do and what they want you to do. A critical part of your response is to avoid jumping in to solve the problem.  While it is natural to want to protect your child, helping them to find their own solution is a better option. It helps them feel they have some power in the situation.
  4.  Visit www.bullyingnoway.gov.au to find some strategies. The website has tips and ideas for different bullying situations. One idea is to practise strategies at home to help your child feel more confident.
  5.  Contact the school. Your child may be reluctant for you to do this, so discuss the idea and reassure them that the school would want to know and is able to help. Make an appointment to meet with your child’s teacher and, if you need to, ask to talk with the Head of Junior Years or Dean of Students. Contact the school immediately if you have a concern about your child’s safety.
  6.  Check in regularly with your child.  Keep the conversation going. It can take time to resolve issues, so check in regularly with your child about their experiences and their feelings.  Your ongoing support is important.

As stated in our Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy, ...all members of our School community must be able to pursue their goals and educational needs without intimidation or injury generated by intolerance, bullying and harassment”. All reports of bullying or harassment are investigated.  ‘Bullying. No Way!’ is everyone’s responsibility and everyone can contribute to a positive school environment. Thank you for your support in making The Glennie School a great school for everyone.

Acknowledgement: The Bullying. No Way! website for Australian schools

Mrs Jodi Blades
Dean of Students

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