Marian College recognises its duty to students to provide a safe and positive learning environment where individual differences and diversity within the college is respected and accepted.
At Marian College we believe that respect is fundamental to right relationships. As such the Marian College policy on managing bullying and harassment is called Respectful Relationships. For a copy of the policy click here.
Bullying is not tolerated at Marian College.It is our policy that:
- Bullying be managed through a ‘whole of college community’ approach involving students, staff and parents/carers;
- Bullying prevention strategies be implemented within the college 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;
- Staff establish positive role models emphasising our no-bullying culture; and
- Bullying prevention and intervention strategies are reviewed on an annual basis against best practice.
Bullying Prevention Strategies
Marian College recognises that the implementation of whole college prevention strategies is the most effective way of eliminating, or at least minimising incidents of bullying within our community.
The following initiatives form part of our overall bullying prevention strategy and our strategy to create a ‘no bullying’ culture within the college:
- A structured curriculum and peer group support system, that provides age appropriate information and skills relating to bullying (including cyber bullying) and bullying prevention, to students over the course of the academic year;
- Education, training and professional development of staff in bullying prevention and response strategies;
- Regular provision of information to parents/carers, to raise awareness of bullying as a college community issue to equip them to recognise signs of bullying, as well as to provide them with clear paths for raising any concerns they may have relating to bullying directly with the college;
- Promotion of a supportive environment that encourages the development of positive relationships and communication between staff, students and parents/carers;
- Promotion of responsible bystander behaviour amongst students, staff and parents/carers;
- Reporting of incidents of alleged bullying by students, bystanders, parents/carers and staff are encouraged, and made easy through the establishment of multiple reporting channels (as specified below);
- Regular risk assessments of bullying within the college are undertaken by surveying students to identify bullying issues that may ordinarily go unnoticed by staff;
- Records of reported bullying incidents are maintained and analysed, in order to identify persistent bullies and/or victims and to implement targeted prevention strategies where appropriate;
- Statements supporting bullying prevention are included in students’ college handbooks;
- Anti-bullying posters are displayed strategically within the college; and
- Promotion of student awareness and a ‘no bullying’ environment by participating in events such as the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence.
Reporting and Responding to Bullying
Students and their parents/carers are sometimes reluctant to pursue bullying incidents, for fear that it will only make matters worse.
A key part of Marian College bullying prevention and intervention strategy is to encourage reporting of bullying incidents as well providing assurance to students who experience bullying (and parents/carers) that:
- Bullying is not tolerated within the college;
- Their concerns will be taken seriously; and
- The college has a clear strategy for dealing with bullying issues.
Bullying incidents can be advised to the college verbally (or in writing) through any of the following avenues:
- Informing a trusted teacher;
- Informing the college counsellor;
- Informing a student’s Year Level Leader; or
- Informing the Assistant to the Principal or the Principal.
Bullying behaviours vary enormously in their extent and intent and, as a consequence, each incident needs to be dealt with on its facts.
In all circumstances the college:
- Takes bullying incidents seriously;
- Provides assurance to the victim that they are not at fault and their confidentiality will be respected;
- Takes time to properly investigate the facts including discussing the incident with the victim, the bully and any bystanders;
- Takes time to understand any concerns of individuals involved;
- Maintains records of reported bullying incidents; and
- Will escalate its response when dealing with persistent bullies and/or severe incidents.
Actions that may be taken when responding to bullying include:
- Notification of/Consultation with parents/carers;
- Offering counselling to persistent bullies/victims;
- Implementing effective follow up strategies; and
- Disciplinary action at the Principals discretion including suspension and expulsion of persistent bullies, or in cases of severe incidents.