Unfortunately, bullying is an issue that most schools, at some time, have encountered. It’s an issue that requires staff, students and parents to work together to establish a culture that rejects bullying in all its forms. Every person has the right to fully participate in the life of the School, free from any bullying.
All boys have the right to be heard. At Trinity, we encourage boys to speak to staff when they experience a problem though we also emphasise the need for parents to advocate for their son, voicing his needs to the School, particularly if he does not feel able to do this for himself. For example: if a boy feels he has a grievance because he was not dealt with fairly by staff or peers, he has the right to be heard and parents should feel empowered to intervene on his behalf.
The notion that boys will adjust, develop or benefit as they learn to deal with difficulties unsupported by adult role models, is usually misguided. If a child is bullied and parents comfort him with the idea that things will improve if he ignores the bullies, the following ramifications can occur:
- Disaster can follow for the victim
- The poor behaviour of the bully can be reinforced
- The bully may start to pick on other boys
At Trinity, every staff member has a responsibility to help resolve issues for boys – from classroom teachers and Sportsmasters to School Counsellors, Housemasters, Deputy Masters, Masters of the Junior, Preparatory, Middle and Senior Schools, the Deputy Head Master and Head Master.
Equally, parents have a role to play in addressing instances of bullying. The most important thing a parent can do to help is to provide love and reassurance and to support children in solving the issue. A report of bullying by a child should always be taken seriously.
Here are our top tips for parents in dealing with the issue of bullying:
- Create a culture of openness within the home to encourage your child to come forward with concerns of bullying.
- Teach your child how to react if they are being bullied – they must tell someone.
- Keep up-to-date with the latest technology and social media practices. Before you purchase technology, research its capabilities and security weaknesses.
- Discuss bullying behaviour in all its various forms with your child and how to identify them.
- Educate your child about morals.
- To address the growing trend of cyber bullying it’s important to be technology savvy:
- Be pro-technology – learn what your child is doing and be part of it.
- Check your child’s/family computer history.
- Use parental locks, e.g. Net Nanny and Google Safe Search.
- Train your child to use the highest privacy settings on social media.
- Change passwords every three months.
- Turn off Bluetooth and Geotagging.
For further insight into community life at Trinity Grammar School, book a tour to come and visit us.