Nobody likes a bully! I recall, when I was at school, the school bully punched me in the stomach for no reason at all! Perhaps he had a reason but I don’t recall doing anything to annoy him. I didn’t like him for a long time and nor did a lot of other people. The good news, however, is that in Year 12, we became good buddies. So, things worked out in the end.
I also recall that in primary school, I was intentionally not very nice to Jacque and Fiona! In a way, I was the bully. Fortunately, as we grew older and I grew a little wiser, we too became friends and got on really well.
There were yet other times where I recall standing by, feeling uncomfortable while other boys teased some girls in Intermediate School. I recall not being involved in the teasing but also not saying anything to stop it. I wish I could turn back the clock!
I wonder if you can recall moments like these in your school days? Can you remember the class bully? Can you perhaps recall being a bully yourself? How did you deal with these situations? As I reflect on moments in my school life, I can see that I was in all three circles that are seen in schools all around the world. The bully, the bullied and the onlooker.
So, what should we do if we experience bullying in any of these circles? How can we as parents create resilience in our children and help them identify bullying when it is happening and know when it is not happening? How should we as parents deal with bullying situations? How can we at Heritage College prevent bullying from negatively impacting student learning? What about when bullying does happen at Heritage College, how can we as teachers respond effectively so that it doesn’t happen again?
This Tuesday night, we have an amazing opportunity to listen to a very experienced educator and specialist in this field. Adam Voigt is a successful teacher and Principal in some of Australia’s toughest locations. He has led Behaviour and Wellbeing across whole school systems and has implemented change in schools as a Leader and a Professional Learning Consultant. Adam appears regularly in Australian media as an educational expert and is a voice for schools, parents and students when he does so.
I would encourage you all to please make a plan to be at the Narre Warren South Campus Chapel on Tuesday at 6pm. There will be refreshments and of course relevant, inspiring information about how to effectively deal with this “ugly thing” called - Bullying!
Mr Sonny Aiono