What you can do
Your child’s school is your first point of contact, and most concerns are best resolved at the level of the school.
It’s important to work as a team with the school and establish positive relationships with staff.
Schools have clear responsibilities to prevent and manage bullying and to create safe and supportive learning environments.
Before you approach your child’s school, be sure to make an appointment.
- Work with the staff who know the students best – usually, this means their class teachers.
- Be clear about what you want to discuss, focusing on the facts and the things that affect your child.
- Bring along a written record of what’s happened – e.g. dates and times, who else witnessed it, screenshots of any cyber bullying.
- Remember you may not have all the facts yet.
- Be clear about what a ‘good outcome’ would look like for your child, and think about what steps might help get you there.
- Familiarise yourself with the school’s guidelines about bullying. Your school’s anti-bullying policy should be on their website. It may sit within their behaviour or wellbeing policy. You may wish to bring the policy with you and check politely that everyone is working to it.
- Be realistic about what the school can do.
- Stay calm and respectful, and never get aggressive with staff or other families. It’s natural to feel frustrated, angry or distressed, especially if you have a past history with bullying yourself, but try to talk things through with a trusted friend or counsellor first.
The states and territories have their own strategies, resources and guidelines about bullying to help state schools deal with the issue. In some states, these documents were also designed to be used by Catholic and independent schools. Check out your state or territory’s position on bullying here.
Find out what the law says about bullying here.