Proactively Maintaining a Safe Environment for Our Students

A Message from the Northside Christian College Principal

Mr Leighton Kuss

Mr Leighton Kuss, Principal of Northside Christian CollegeSchools have been in the media a lot recently. The topics have included standardised testing, school funding, bullying, staff and student well-being and air-conditioning to name just a few topics (we are grateful to have a fully air-conditioned school environment!). At the start of a new year, I thought it valuable to reflect on the importance for our community to be proactive in maintaining our positive and supportive environment, remaining opposed to bullying tendencies, which seem to dominate our media news reports on a daily basis.

In addition to our College bullying policy and our ongoing Pastoral Care programs, the website Bullying. No Way! provides a range of useful resources for school communities. Bullying tendencies can occur in any group of people and so it is vital to understand what bullying is and how to discuss it together. The ‘Bullying. No Way!’ website outlines this in a concise way:

The national definition of bullying for Australian schools says:

Bullying is 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 of any form or for any reason can have long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders. Is it bullying?

Single incidents and conflict or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not defined as bullying.

Behaviours that do not constitute bullying include:

  • mutual arguments and disagreements (where there is no power imbalance)
  • not liking someone or a single act of social rejection
  • one-off acts of meanness or spite
  • isolated incidents of aggression, intimidation or violence.

However, these conflicts still need to be addressed and resolved.

If at any time you do have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s teachers or Year Level Co-ordinators. Our partnership together is always the strongest when concerns are shared quickly with each other.

The e-Quipped Facebook page run by our College Counsellor has a link to an article about what to do in instances of cyberbullying. It’s well worth reading and bookmarking. Be sure to follow the e-Quipped website for information about families and technology.

Image used with permission from Families Magazine.