Walsh cracks down on school bul­ly­ing

Campaspe News - - NEWS -

MEM­BER for Mur­ray Plains Peter Walsh has an­nounced his party will have zero tol­er­ance to­wards bul­ly­ing in gov­ern­ment schools if elected in Novem­ber.

Mr Walsh said a new anti-bul­ly­ing pro­gram would be rolled out in all gov­ern­ment schools across the Mur­ray Plains elec­torate.

The $15.3 mil­lion plan would place more fo­cus on teach­ing re­spect and con­sid­er­a­tion for oth­ers from early child­hood, right through to VCE.

“Learn­ing to re­spect ev­ery­one re­gard­less of gen­der, re­li­gion, sex­u­al­ity, race, eth­nic­ity, fam­ily cir­cum­stances and ap­pear­ance be­gins in our homes and schools,” Mr Walsh said.

“Re­search com­mis­sioned by the Alan­nah & Made­line Foun­da­tion found al­most 25 per­cent of Vic­to­rian school stu­dents are bul­lied at some stage dur­ing their time in school.

“This has a ter­ri­ble im­pact on young peo­ple in our com­mu­ni­ties. When you cou­ple bul­ly­ing with a lack of men­tal health ser­vices, as is the case in many of our com­mu­ni­ties, you have a recipe for dis­as­ter.

“Vic­tims of bul­ly­ing of­ten suf­fer from be­havioural prob­lems, and self­es­teem and con­fi­dence is­sues, not to men­tion the im­pact bul­ly­ing has on their abil­ity to con­cen­trate and per­form at school.

“I am gravely con­cerned about the im­pact bul­ly­ing has had on the men­tal health and well­be­ing of young peo­ple in our re­gion.”

The Na­tion­als Zero Tol­er­ance on School Bul­ly­ing pol­icy is based on a four point plan:

1. The im­ple­men­ta­tion in all gov­ern­ment schools of the Alan­nah & Made­line Foun­da­tion’s anti-bul­ly­ing pro­gram based on four foun­da­tions – in­for­ma­tion, in­ter­ven­tion, preven­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

2. A three strikes pol­icy where se­rial bul­lies who have failed to change their be­hav­iour af­ter two warn­ings and com­mit an­other act of se­ri­ous bul­ly­ing, are re­quired to at­tend a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing with the school prin­ci­pal, their par­ents and the par­ents of the vic­tim.

3. Back­ing school prin­ci­pals who make the tough call to ex­pel se­rial bul­lies who have, de­spite re­peated warn­ings, not im­proved their be­hav­iour and are putting the safety and wel­fare of stu­dents at risk.

4. Recog­nis­ing and re­ward­ing school chil­dren who are an up-stander and not a by­stander.

The pro­gram will be rolled out across all gov­ern­ment schools across the Mur­ray Plains elec­torate in part­ner­ship with the Alan­nah & Made­line Foun­da­tion while in­de­pen­dent and Catholic schools will be able to choose to opt-in to the pro­gram, at their dis­cre­tion.

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