All students have the right to feel safe at school. Unfortunately bullying is a fact of life within schools and out in the community. All schools should have an anti-bullying policy on view to parents and students. There are also a number of programs available to schools for the benefit of students.
If you are concerned about your child being bullied, discuss it with your child's teacher and if necessary the head of year. Every school has a different approach to how it would like parents to approach the school and you should be familiar with your school's grievance policy. If the issue is ongoing, why not ask how the bullying policy will be/was applied in your child's case and what you as a family can do to support the school with their approach.
There are a number of resources and websites to support you with bullying.
Kids Helpline @ School is a free early intervention program which offers Australian primary schools a video or phone link up classroom session with a Kids Helpline Counsellor, to discuss topics impacting on the lives of primary school aged students. This program gives students the opportunity to participate in an interactive information session conducted by a Kids Helpline Counsellor, to explore coping strategies, increase participant knowledge, provide awareness and build resilience within primary school aged students.
The Hub provides the tools and knowledge that will enable all members of the school
• nurture student responsibility and resilience
• build a positive school culture
• foster respectful relationships
• support students who are impacted by anti-social behaviour, including bullying and cyberbullying.
The Safe Schools Hub project is funded by the Australian Government, working in partnership with state and territory governments, the nongovernment school sectors and Education Services Australia.
Bullying No Way is a comprehensive website developed for students, parents and teachers by all the Australian Education Authorities including Federal and State Governments and Catholic and Independent sectors. The site is rich with information, support links and strategies to help you support your child. To visit the parents' section of the website click here.
The Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has a number of resources on their website including strategies for parents.The latest is:
Also another handy link: click here for strategies for parents.
This booklet is an Australian Government Initiative released by the National Crime Prevention Program as research indicates the importance of the early years in shaping the health and wellbeing of our children. Written by Ken Rigby, a lead bullying expert, the booklet is for parents of 4-8 year olds. Taken from the forward are the reasons why bullying in this age group is of such grave concern:
"...A child who has been the victim of bullying can experience problems with their physical and psychological health, educational attainment and social development. Of equal concern, a child who bullies another child is at risk of becoming involved in criminal or anti-social behaviour later in life.
As many as one child in six in Australia is bullied by another child or group of children on a weekly basis - an alarming statistic given the possible consequences..."
To view the booklet, click on the book title above and to order a copy, call (02) 6250 6711.
Children can receive professional counselling on bullying problems from Kids Help Line. The free-call number is 1800 551 800. A Parent Help Line is available in Victoria on 13 22 89.
- 'The Cardboard Girl: Gives Bullying the Flick' is published by Acashic Publishers, April 2011. More info: www.acashic.com/the-cardboard-girl/.
- 'Bully Blocking' - The Book - Dr Evelyn Field
"Bully Blocking, six secrets to help children deal with teasing and bullying" (Finch 2007)http://www.bullying.com.au/products-and-services/school-bullying-products.php
- The Four Rooms of Change Program
- Help Your Child Avoid the Anxiety of Being Bullied
- Bullying.org - where you are not alone
- Bullying in schools and what to do about it
- Bullying - Parents Easy Guide
- Bullying, Harassment and Physical Violence - info sheet
- Bullying - For Teachers and Grown-ups (NZ)
- Bullying - Information for Parents and Teachers (Canada)
- What's the best thing to do about bullies
- Bully Blocking - www.bullying.com.au
- Bully Free Australia Foundation
- Don’t Get Revenge: Conflict Resolution Skills