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Anti Bullying Policy.

At Gawler High School we want all students to feel safe.

Therefore we take bullying seriously. At Gawler High School we will provide a safe, supportive and ordered environment free from bullying, harassment and violence. We work with the school community and other services and agencies to support our students in being responsible and productive members of the community.This policy explains what bullying is, how you can report it and what we will do to stop it happening.

This policy was reviewed March 2012 and will be reviewed annually.

At Gawler High School we believe that:

  • Bullying is the systematic abuse of power
  • Bullying is not simply about difference. It may occur because of people’s inability to accept and value difference.
  • Bullying includes racist or sexual harassment or any other form of discriminatory behaviour.
  • Bullying is everyone’s business
  • Bullying can involve violence.

A definition of Bullying.
Bullying is deliberate, hurtful gestures, words or actions which are repeated over time.
Bullying involves the misuse of power by an individual or group towards one or more persons.

A definition of Cyber-bullying:
Cyber-bullying is bullying which uses e-technology as a means of victimising others. It is the use of an internet service or mobile technologies – such as e-mail, chat room discussion groups, instant messaging, web pages or SMS (text messaging) – with the intention of harming another person. Examples include communications that seek to intimidate, control, manipulate, put down or humiliate the recipient.

A definition of discrimination:
Discrimination occurs when people are treated less favourably than others because of their race, culture or ethnic origin; religion; physical characteristics; gender; sexual orientation ;marital, parenting or economic status; age and or ability or disability. Discrimination is often ongoing and commonly involves exclusion or rejection.

A definition of Harassment:
Harassment is behaviour that targets an individual or group due to their identity, race, culture or ethnic origin; physical characteristics; gender; sexual orientation; marital, parenting or economic status; age; and or ability or disability, and that offends, humiliates, intimidates or creates a hostile environment. Harassment may be an ongoing pattern of behaviour, or it may be a single act.

A definition of Sexual Harassment:

Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual conduct which makes a person ( male or female, of the same or opposite gender, same- sex attracted, bisexual or transgender) feel offended, humiliated and/or intimidated, where that reaction to the conduct is reasonable in the circumstances. Sexual Harassment can be a single incident, repeated or continuous, direct or indirect, and take various forms.

A definition of Violence:
Violence is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against another person/s that results in psychological harm, injury or in some cases death. Violence may involve provoked or unprovoked acts and can be a single incident, random act or can occur over time.

Examples of bullying are:

  • Having your lunch money taken away often
  • Being left out of games or conversations often
  • Being repeatedly hit or kicked.
  • Being bullied by SMS or mobile phone or through the internet.

What can you do about bullying?
If you are bullied or know someone who is being bullied, please report it.

Who do you report it to:
Tell your Home Care teacher or the school counsellor. Tell your parents or caregivers too.

How to report
Students complete the ‘Bullying Incident ‘form that is available from the Student Services Office.  On the form explain: when the bullying happened, how often it has happened and what you have done to try to stop it happening. Take the form to your Home Care Teacher who will help you/or direct you to the appropriate support person in the school.
Parents can phone the school and speak with a Student Counsellor, Year Level Manager or a member of the Leadership Team if they are reporting  an incident.

When to report.
Students should report the bullying to your Home care teacher as soon as it happens. Do not ignore it. When bullying is ignored it may get worse.

Responsibilities of Students:

  • Be respectful towards other students, staff and members of the school community.
  • Participate in sessions regarding the school’s Anti Bullying policy and other sessions regarding behaviour expectations.
  • Report the incident immediately
  • Support peers to report incidents
  • Learn to be an effective bystander, so that bullying and harassment are discouraged through peer influence.

Responsibilities of staff:

  • Foster positive relationships with students
  • Establish, maintain, make explicit and model the school’s expectations related to bullying.
  • Support students to be effective bystanders.
  • Respond to reported incidents as soon as possible
  • Keep open communication between student, parent and the school regarding the progress of the report.
  • Keep the appropriate documentation of the report.
  • Ensure that follow up of students occurs after the report has been resolved.

Responsibilities of parents:

  • Provide support for their child to report incidences as soon as possible.
  • Communicate in a respectful manner with school staff regarding their concerns.
  • Contact the Regional Office if their concerns are not resolved following intervention by the Principal.

What we do about incidents of bullying.

  • We will listen and talk to the person who has been bullied and the person who has bullied others.
  • We will put negotiated consequences in place for the person who has been bullying others. These may include time out, suspension or exclusion.
  • We will use a process called Restorative Justice to help everyone involved to improve their relationships with each other.

It is important to realise that these steps may change. At Gawler High School we do not use a’one size fits all’ approach. This is because each person is different and each incident of bullying is different.

What do we do at Gawler High School to reduce Bullying.

If an incident of bullying happens at Gawler High School we use prevention, intervention and post – intervention strategies.

Prevention strategies include:

  • Using the curriculum to teach students about respectful relationships, Civics and citizenship
  • Developing programs to help students participate and have a say in their learning.
  • Teaching students about violence prevention, conflict resolution, anger management and problem solving and developing policies which promote student safety.
  • Teaching for and about diversity.
  • Providing professional learning for staff in collaboration with local agencies.
  • Surveying students regarding bullying incidents to enable us to act on their concerns.

Intervention strategies include:

  • Counselling students who have been bullied.
  • Talking with parents or caregivers about the situation.
  • Putting consequences in place for those who bully others.
  • Teaching students to be better bystanders
  • Ensuring that all staff know how to address bullying effectively and respectfully.

Post intervention strategies include:

  • Monitoring the situation between the students to ensure that their safety and wellbeing are maintained.
  • Talking with parents or caregivers about strategies.
  • Dealing with hotspots in the yard.
  • Reviewing and evaluating behaviour codes and policies.

This policy will be distributed to all students and staff – at the beginning of each school year and at the same time published in the School Newsletter for Parent Information. It will be included in all information packs that leave the school and will be published on the Gawler High School Website.

To view a printable version of the GHS Anti Bullying Policy click this link: View Policy


Bullying and harassment at school (pdf)


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