National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence – Friday 16th March – Take a Stand Together Today, Australian schools will stand united in their communities to celebrate the eighth National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence. The National Day of Action is Australia’s key anti-bullying event for schools and in 2018, schools are called to imagine a world free from bullying and share their big ideas. OLGC has registered along with 4000 other Australian schools to embrace the message ‘Bullying. No Way’. As a school, we will join together this afternoon to link the paper chains each class has made to signify the united stance OLGC takes on bullying.
Below is a definition of bullying used by Brisbane Catholic Education in the Anti-Bullying Policy.
A Definition of Bullying
Bullying is a systematic and repeated abuse of power (Rigby 2010). This can be face to face or using technology (cyber-bullying), such as mobile phones, the internet via email, social networking sites, and chat rooms to bully verbally socially or psychologically etc.
(It is important to note that the recognition of other forms of undesirable interpersonal behaviour are often confused with bullying. These could include for example: conflict between children of equal power, non-malicious exclusion of some children, one-off acts of meanness and spite, and random acts of aggressiveness. Rigby 2010, The National Centre Against Bullying.)
Bullying involves: • Dominating or hurting someone • Unfair action (physical, psychological or social) by the perpetrator/s • a power imbalance • (typically) repetition • an unjust use of power • a lack of adequate defence by the target and feelings of oppression and humiliation (Rigby 2010)
Taking a stand against bullying is very important, however equally important is also taking a stand against other forms of undesirable interpersonal behaviour, as these behaviours are often highly disrespectful and also socially unacceptable.
As parents and educators, we play very important roles as role models for students as we model positive behaviours for social interaction. As a Catholic community, we have the wonderful role model of Jesus who in his teachings commanded us to, “Love one another as I have loved you.” In this statement Jesus called us to follow his lead and in doing so enter positive, respectful and loving relationships with each other, to be peace makers. Our school values also reflect this message; Love, Service and Joy. Although we join united on this National Day against Bullying, the message of this one day should guide the way we live our lives each and every day.
National Day against bullying invites schools, students, parents and communities to enter into dialogue to address antisocial and bullying behaviours. In doing so, I encourage families to talk openly together about disrespectful behaviour and bullying and reinforce to students the very important message of reporting when they feel unhappy or unsafe. Encouraging students to use their voice will empower them to stand up against inappropriate behaviours. As a school we will continue to support students to “Be a hero when it comes to their Safety and -Recognise, React and Report.” This very important BCE Safety message is aligned to the Daniel Morcombe Curriculum and it is our hope that through reinforcing this message we create a safe, supportive and nurturing school and community environment where respectful relationships empower us to live a life of love, service and joy.