Monday, 16 July 2012

Bullying not acceptable in Tasmanian schools

Department of Education Media Release

6 Aug 2012

The Department of Education today said that bullying in any form was not acceptable in Tasmanian schools.

Lz Banks, Deputy Secretary, Early Years and Schools, said many mechanisms were in place to ensure the safety of students and staff.

“The Department of Education’s Web Safety in Schools policy is designed to ensure that Tasmanian students participate safely in technology-based learning and use technology responsibly.

“Schools are required to develop their own policies to address bullying, including cyber bullying, appropriate use of the internet and mobile phones, and to put in place school wide approaches to developing respectful and positive behaviour.”

“In 2011, all Tasmanian Government schools were able to access the Roar Educate Cyber Safety program which addresses cyber bullying, online identity, social networking, privacy, gaming, digital footprint, web research copyright and cyber security. Schools can choose to continue with this program in 2012.”

Ms Banks said that all members of the school community had a right to be safe at school and that there was a strong connection between students’ wellbeing, behaviour and learning.

“Students are more likely to do well and to behave well in a caring, supportive environment where the relationships are respectful.

“While schools are able to impose sanctions for inappropriate behaviour, they also strive to build environments that teach students how to behave appropriately and parents are critical partners in this work.

“School-wide approaches that teach and promote pro-social skills and that intervene early to address issues are models that have been recognised nationally and internationally as being highly effective.

“The National Safe Schools Framework and its accompanying resource materials, provide schools with actions for planning, implementing and maintaining a safe and supportive school community.”

Ms Banks said behaviour by students that was likely to be detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of others was deemed unacceptable by the Department of Education.

“The Education Act lays down the processes related to sanctions such as suspensions, exclusions or expulsions that a school may apply to behaviour of this kind,” she said.

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