Our school focus challenges us to enhance student well being. We all have a right to be respected and a responsibility to respect each other as we strive to develop a safe and supportive environment which is conducive to learning at Adelaide West Special Education Centre.
Students are taught in a school environment which is free from physical, verbal, sexual and racial harassment and harassment on the basis of impairment or socio-economic background.
Bullying and harassment are not acceptable in such an environment. The school is committed to preventing and eliminating bullying in all its forms. We do this by teaching students skills, which foster respect for self and others.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is intentional, repetitive behaviour by a person or persons that hurts, threatens, embarrasses or intimidates someone. When a group or an individual uses their power to target or hurt another person repeatedly, this is bullying. There is an intention to cause fear, distress and/or harm. It is defined by the effects on the victim, not the intent of the persons doing the bullying. Bullying can occur between adults, between students, adults to students and vice-versa.
Bullying can leave a person with many different feelings including: being scared or angry, feeling helpless, sad, powerless, worthless, doubting, ill, lonely and/or depressed.
Bullying can include any of the following
Physical: aggression such as shoving, hitting, throwing things at someone, pushing, damaging or hiding someone’s property or any kind of sexual interference
Verbal:teasing, name-calling and “put-downs” spreading rumours, making threats
Exclusion: excluding people from activities or joining a group
Gesture:threatening or offensive gestures, rude gestures such as looks or shrugs, eye rolling
Cyber bullying: the use of internet services or mobile technologies such as email, chat rooms, discussion groups, instant messaging, WebPages or SMS to intimidate, humiliate, or putdown a person by sending repeated negative messages, cyber stalking, posting unwanted photos and sending threats.
Declaration of the rights of individuals in the school community
Adelaide West Special Education Centre’s integrated curriculum will promote positive interaction within the school and the wider community.
All members of the school community have the right to:
- feel safe, to be safe, and to be treated with respect
- feel included
- be valued for yourself and not be compared to others
- be free from harassment
- know who to go to for help
- be listened to and be heard
- know that steps will be taken to resolve problems or issues
- be provided with information and advice about bullying and how to manage it.
Responsibilities of the principal and staff
The principal will:
- gather information from any incidents or accusations of bullying
- all incidents or accusations of bullying will be managed in a way consistent with the DECD School Discipline Policy
- provide the Governing Council with updates each term in relation to school bullying data and trends and any anti- bullying programs or initiatives in place
- ensure all new staff members, students and their families are aware of the school’s negotiated anti-bullying policy and the decision-making procedures open to them if they wish to influence school practice
- include the anti-bullying policy as part of the school’s enrolment process
- ensure that all parents/carers have access to the school’s anti-bullying policy, the DECD Bullying and harassment at school: Advice for Parents and caregivers leaflet
- ensure all parents/carers are aware of their rights to advocacy and of avenues open to them should they have grievances relating to the management of an incident of bullying
- ensure ongoing training and development of teachers and SSOs will occur
All staff members undertake pre- and in-service training titled Responding to Abuse and Neglect: Education and Care. This training aims to provide staff with an understanding of
- what underlies child abuse and neglect and its impact on children’s development and wellbeing
- how staff can help prevent and lessen the impact of abuse and neglect through their daily work with children and young people
Teaching respectful relationships to children and students makes an important contribution to increasing protective factors and decreasing bullying a, harassment and violence in schools. The Keeping Safe Child Protection curriculum will be implemented in all year levels. The four focus areas of this curriculum are:
- The Right to be Safe
- Recognising and Reporting Abuse
- Protective Strategies
School staff members will:
- develop and foster positive relationships with students and their families
- communicate and interact effectively with students and engage in co-operative problem solving relationships to address issues of bullying
- participate in developing, implementing and reviewing the school’s anti-bullying policy, curriculum and in-service offerings
- critically reflect on practices and develop the knowledge and skills needed to manage any incidents of bullying successfully
- establish, maintain, make explicit and model the school’s expectations relating to bullying
- participate in training and development related to decreasing bullying
- support students to be effective bystanders
Students will support the school in maintaining a safe and supportive environment if they:
- are respectful towards other students, staff and members of the school community
- communicate (where possible) with an appropriate adult if bullied or harassed or if they are aware that someone else is being bullied or harassed
- learn to be an effective bystander, so that bullying and harassment are discouraged through peer influence
What can parents do?
- Learn to recognize the signs of bullying
Children who are bullied and those that bully are equally in need of support and guidance from caring adults. Watch children for bruises, changes in moods, eating habits, and sleeping patterns
- Instill confidence and pride in your child’s abilities and disabilities
Children with special needs who have developed a sense of pride in their differences are less likely to be victimized by bullies and will respond more effectively when faced with social pressures
- Communicate with all parties involved
Parents/carers are asked to keep the school informed of concerns about behaviour, children’s health issues or other matters of relevance. Communicate in a respectful manner with the principal or class teacher if you believe your child may be the victim or the instigator of bullying or issues of concern soon after your concerns are raised.
- Become familiar with the school’s anti-bullying policy
The anti-bullying policy is part of the school’s enrolment induction and will be published in the school newsletter and website. The policy will be reviewed by parents, staff and members of Governing Council annually