AUSTRALIA’S top school system has urged parents to take more proactive steps to help protect their children against bullying.
Key points:More than 400 children at the Guilford County School in Victoria are under-performingThe State Government has launched a national strategy to combat bullying in schoolsThe Government has said it has more than 400 school-aged children at Guilford County School.
It’s a move that’s been applauded by the parents of some of the students.
“It’s so easy to feel like we can do something to stop the bullying.
The whole system has been set up to protect and support those children,” parent Stephanie McGeachie told the ABC.”
What you’re doing to protect your child is not going to make a difference unless you have the courage and the support to do that.”
The Guilfingtons school, in the remote town of Guilborne, has more students under-performance than its Victorian counterpart, and teachers and principals have been criticised for their response.
The State has launched an anti-bullying strategy and has more staff than Victoria, which has more schools and schools-based support, but has been criticised by parents for its response.
“You can’t just say ‘I’ll talk to the school and let them know’ but you have to do the work, and that’s what the school is doing,” parent Jessica O’Connor said.
“They have got a lot of children who are struggling, who are having difficulties.”
We’ve had a lot more calls about them being bullied recently and I’m very concerned about the school.
“I think the teachers have been really good about trying to deal with the bullying and that needs to change.”‘
We’re not trying to be bullies’There have been concerns raised that schools were not properly equipped for the new school year, and many of the classrooms were not well-equipped.
“There’s no need to be a bully, because we’re not bullying anyone,” said Mrs McGeakie.
“And if you have a child who is struggling, then we’ve got to get that child some help.”
The Federal Government is also funding $1.3 million to the Guillings County Council for a school safety officer, who is expected to focus on preventing bullying and supporting parents to do more.
The Government says it has the highest proportion of under-16 students in Victoria and has committed to increasing the number of under 17s attending the school to 10 per cent by 2019-20.