CLAREMONT COLLEGE

NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST BULLYING AND VIOLENCE

NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST BULLYING AND VIOLENCE

MARCH 16 IS THE NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST BULLYING AND VIOLENCE. IT IS TIMELY, THEREFORE, TO REITERATE CLAREMONT COLLEGE’S STRONG STANCE AGAINST BULLYING, OUR BULLYING PREVENTION STRATEGIES AND HOW WE RESPOND TO INCIDENTS OF BULLYING WHEN THEY COME TO OUR ATTENTION.

Sadly, bullying does exist at Claremont College as it does across all aspects of society. Our commitment is to acknowledge its existence, to have preventative strategies in place, to seek to identify where and when it is occurring and to respond swiftly, appropriately and with sensitivity.

Embedded in our policy is that:
- Bullying is managed through a whole school community approach involving students,
staff and parents/carers
- Bullying prevention strategies be implemented within the school on a continuous
basis with a focus on teaching age appropriate skills and strategies to empower staff,
students and parents/carers to recognise bullying and respond appropriately
- Bullying response strategies be tailored to the circumstances of each incident
- Ensure that appropriate and contextual consequences/punishments are put in place
for children who offend
- Staff act as positive role models emphasising our no-bullying culture
- Bullying prevention and intervention strategies are reviewed against best practice.

Claremont College defines bullying as ‘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 can also can take on various forms:

- Physical bullying: This involves physical actions such as hitting, pushing, obstructing or intimidation. Damaging, stealing or hiding personal belongings is also a form of physical bullying.

- Psychological bullying: This is when words or actions are used to cause psychological harm. Examples of psychological bullying include name calling, teasing or making fun of someone because of their actions, appearance, physical characteristics or cultural background.

- Indirect bullying: This is when deliberate acts of exclusion or spreading of untrue stories are used to hurt or intimidate.

- Cyber bullying: This is the ongoing abuse of power to threaten or harm another person using technology. Cyber bullying can occur in chat rooms, on social networking sites, iPad game apps, play-station, through emails or on mobile phones.

All this and further details regarding bullying can be found in Claremont’s Bullying
Prevention and Intervention Policy which is available at www.claremont.nsw.edu.au and also at https://bullyingnoway.gov.au/N...

Children can be deeply affected by being bullied and may not naturally disclose this for fear of the situation worsening. Parents therefore should be constantly monitoring any behavioural changes in their child or other aspects of their child’s life that might be out of character.
- Crying at night and/or having nightmares
- Refusing to talk when asked “What’s wrong?”
- Having unexplained bruises, cuts or scratches
- An unwillingness or refusal to go to school
- Feeling ill in the mornings
- Damaged or missing belongings
- A decline in quality of school work
- Wanting extra money without giving a reason
- Becoming withdrawn and lacking confidence
- Beginning to bully siblings
- Acting unreasonably
- Regression in one or more areas of development

Bullying is taken incredibly seriously at Claremont College, with matters that are brought to our attention, discussed and responded to at our weekly Pastoral Care Meeting. Importantly, we also recognise that many situations which whilst potentially distressing to the student involved, are not considered bullying. These include mutual conflict situations or one off acts. I note that many parents in their distress at seeing their child upset will quickly describe a situation as bullying. So often, however, when we work with children they recognise that they have not been bullied. There may be other issues at stake, certainly inappropriate behaviours directed towards others, or conflict between friends and classmates. The message in this, is please do not panic, react or jump to the conclusion that your child has in fact been bullied. Please contact the school and work with us to ensure that a careful and sensitive investigation, and fair response can ensue.

One way or another, should you become aware of a bullying situation, if you suspect
bullying might be occurring, or you are unhappy with your child’s experience, it is vital that the school is contacted immediately. The most appropriate forms of contact are:
- Child’s teachers
- Mrs Cameron – Deputy Principal
- Our School Counsellor

As a school let us work together to do all we can to ensure that our children are safe and well supported when friendship and other social issues arise, or when more serious matters
occur.