Involving the community
Bullying is an issue that exists throughout communities. It is not just an issue for schools. Workable and lasting solutions to bullying therefore involve the whole community.
This page is based directly on content from the
National Safe Schools Framework. The National Safe Schools Framework is now superseded by the Australian Student Wellbeing Framework (PDF, 2.7MB).
Schools can recognise the distinctive needs of specific groups in the school community (e.g. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, refugee and immigrant families) through:
- working collaboratively with representatives of specific groups in the school (e.g. their Indigenous community, refugee and immigrant families) to identify those factors that contribute towards a safe and supportive environment
- establishing links with relevant community and external agencies to identify additional and alternative strategies for these members of their school community.
Whole community anti-bullying messages
Schools can use connections with community services and organisations to promote students' self-respect, respect for others and acceptance of diversity. Developing whole community anti-bullying, anti-aggression and online messages could include:
- making online safety or anti-bullying brochures to leave in the local library
- giving talks to seniors groups on the importance of respect between people of all ages or how to use computers in a safe way.
Support for families in need
Schools are well placed to advise families about appropriate counselling and other forms of additional support for students and their families if needed. This may include:
- counselling (by school based or community agencies)
- the use of inclusion strategies that build students' positive relationships with peers and teacher(s) and adapt curriculum to meet diverse student needs
- helping families make links to community agencies and organisations
- reviewing ways the school can provide continuing support after intervention (e.g. by maintaining regular communication with the family and child)
- recognising that bullying and cyberbullying may go 'underground' after it appears to have been resolved and that the situation and students involved still need to be monitored and reviewed.
Seeking feedback from the student and their family on the best way to continue to support them.
Schools protocols for working with community organisations need to recognise all school community members' right to privacy and confidentiality.