Staying Safe in Tasmanian Government Schools
Did you know?
We are committed to ensuring your child is provided with a school that supports them to be the best they can be.
Schools work hard to create and maintain a safe, positive and inclusive learning environment where all students feel safe and supported so they can focus on learning and reach their potential.
To ensure that the school environment is safe and supports learning and wellbeing, schools promote and support respectful student behaviour. They use a range of approaches to prevent and respond to unacceptable behaviour, which includes discrimination, harassment and bullying.
Working to ensure that our students are safe and free from discrimination, harassment and bullying is a shared responsibility between school staff, parents and carers, students and the community. We all have to work together for safe and supportive schools.
Each school has a Policy that outlines their approaches for supporting and promoting positive behaviour, and the processes and consequences for unacceptable behaviour. See the parent fact sheet on Student Behaviour in Tasmanian Government Schools.
What is bullying?
- Bullying is repetitive and ongoing verbal, physical, social or psychological behaviour that involves the misuse of power by a person or group of people towards one or more persons and is intended to cause harm or distress, or create fear.
- Cyberbullying is bullying through information and communication technologies (e.g. mobile phone technologies and online). See the parent fact sheet Online Safety in Tasmanian Government Schools.
- All types of bullying can have long-term, detrimental effects for those involved.
- Bullying can be observable, but it can also be covert and difficult to detect, and can take many forms. Bullying is often hidden from adults and is likely to continue if no action is taken.
- Severe cases of bullying/cyberbullying may be referred to the relevant authority (such as the police) for a criminal justice response recognising the very serious harm that bullying can cause.
For your Child
- Your child’s school provides a safe, supportive and respectful school environment to learn in and provides opportunities for students to develop positive and respectful relationships with staff and their peers.
- Schools work within the National Safe Schools Framework that provides all schools, teachers, parents and students with resources to develop student safety and wellbeing policies.
- Your child is taught personal and social capabilities, and ethical behaviour as part of the school curriculum, including how to communicate respectfully with others and be a responsible citizen.
- Your child’s teacher is the first point of call if your child is concerned about the behaviour of other students in their class.
- If your child has experienced bullying, cyberbullying, harassment or discrimination from another student from their school, the Principal should be notified.
- There is a voluntary Code of Behaviour for students who travel on buses. Unacceptable behaviour that occurs on the school bus needs to be referred to the relevant transport authority. The school should also be made aware.
What your school will do
- Your child’s school may arrange for discussions with students about what is happening, why the behaviour is occurring, and develop strategies to prevent the behaviour from occurring in future.
- Your school will work for a positive resolution with all students involved being provided with support.
- A punishment is not always the right answer for dealing with bullying. Instead of stopping bullying, it is likely to make the behaviour become more covert or hidden. For this reason, schools use a range of strategies and approaches to prevent bullying and intervene when it has occurred. This includes whole-school approaches which aim to develop a school culture of respect, early intervention, and processes for responding to and reporting bullying.
- Schools have a responsibility to support students involved in bullying and cyberbullying that has negatively impacted student learning and/or wellbeing at school.
What to do if you think there is a problem
- If you believe that your child is experiencing bullying, harassment or discrimination:
- encourage your child to talk about what is happening
- write down when, where and with whom problems seem to be happening
- make an appointment to see your child’s teacher or the school principal to discuss the matter
- ask about the school’s policies and support available, including support for your child from the school social worker or psychologist
- keep in regular contact with the school about what your child is experiencing until you are comfortable that the problem has been resolved.
Where can I get more information?
- Talk to your child’s teacher or principal, who can explain their school’s Respectful Student Behaviour Policy.
- Go to the national anti-bullying website for tips and hints.
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