Our Philosophy … Supportive Relationships

Supportive RelationshipsLyndale Secondary College is committed to providing a supportive and safe environment for members of the College community. The College will respond quickly and effectively in the event of a bullying incident. Supportive relationships see our community co-operate to provide and enjoy a safe, caring environment. Supportive relationships promote respect for self and for others. Appreciation of differences and the need to co-operate are essential ingredients of a working, supportive and harmonious community. Individuals within such a community feel valued and understand how they actively contribute to the happiness and well-being of others. Lyndale Secondary College values staff, students and parents working together to create a supportive environment for all.

Rights and Responsibilities

The College community, students and staff of Lyndale Secondary College have the right to a safe and caring environment that promotes learning, personal growth and positive self-esteem. The College is committed to providing such an environment and all members of the College community have the responsibility to ensure that this occurs.

What is bullying?

“Bullying is when someone, or a group of people, upset or create a risk to another person’s health and safety – either psychologically or physically – their property, reputation or social acceptance, on more than one occasion.” Safe Schools are Effective Schools.
Bullying is a form of aggressive behaviour and can be differentiated from teasing and violence in three ways:
• Bullying is a deliberate hurtful action directed towards another person or persons, by one or more persons.
• Bullying is often repetitious in nature, where incidents occur more than once and are not random acts. However, severe ‘one-off’ bullying also occurs and is recognised as potentially very harmful.
• Bullying usually involves a person having more power or strength at the time.

As distinct from playful teasing, bullying is a mean action intended to hurt the victim and create subordination as well as a feeling of superiority for the bully.

Types of Bullying

There are a variety of categories and examples of bullying behaviour including:

Direct Physical Bullying: hits, trips, pushes, pokes, damages property, physically threatens, gives intimidating looks, steals property, touching and brushing up against (sexual in nature).
Direct Verbal Bullying: calls names, insults, makes homophobic remarks, makes racist remarks, verbally abuses name, family, religion, disability, or other individual characteristic of “victim”, laughs at, puts down, threatens, sexual joking and innuendo.
Indirect Bullying: (sometimes referred to as “Social Bullying”; this form of bullying is harder to recognise and is often carried out behind the bullied student’s back. It is designed to harm someone’s social reputation and/or cause humiliation): lies and spreads rumours, plays nasty jokes to embarrass and humiliate, mimics, deliberately leaves “victim” out of activities, encourages others to socially exclude someone, damages someone’s social reputation and social acceptance.
Cyberbullying: this involves being cruel to others by sending or posting harmful material or engaging in other forms of social aggression using the Internet or other digital technologies. Some of the main forms of cyber bullying include:
• Flaming: online fights using electronic messages with angry or vulgar messages
• Harassment: repeatedly sending nasty, mean and insulting messages
• Denigration: posting or sending gossip or rumours about a person to damage his/her reputation or friendship
• Outing: sharing someone’s secrets or embarrassing information or images online
• Exclusion: intentionally and cruelly excluding someone from an online group
• Cyber stalking: repeated, intense harassment and denigration that includes threats or creates significant fear.

Lyndale Secondary College’s prevention and response plan

Lyndale Secondary College staff are committed to:
• Modelling supportive behaviour in words and actions at all times.
• Being vigilant for signs of distress or suspected incidents of bullying.
• Assisting the person being bullied by removing sources of distress, without increasing any risk to their wellbeing. Victims of bullying behaviour are encouraged to practise assertive behaviours and offered ongoing support whenever necessary. Eg. Classroom Support Program, Student Workshops.
• Referring suspected incidents to the appropriate staff member (Form Teacher, Coordinators, Sub-school Leaders, Student Wellbeing Leader, Principal class) who will follow the College’s procedures to deal with the behaviour.
• Year Level Coordinators & Wellbeing staff complete the Response to Bullying templates and procedures.
• Assist those who exhibit bullying behaviour by:

  • applying Restorative Justice practices
  •  consistently applying the College’s Supportive Relationship Policy
  •  providing ongoing counselling, whenever necessary, to reinforce the value of supportive relationships.

In cases where a student has been identified as engaging in bullying behaviours, the procedures listed below will be acted on. Student Managers may also invoke detention consequences or suspension (in accordance with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s Student Engagement Guidelines) whenever they believe that individual cases warrant these actions.

1. First Offence. A formal warning is issued by a Form Teacher, Coordinator, Wellbeing Leader, Assistant Principal, Principal, in which it is made clear that the bullying behaviour must cease. An attempt to resolve the situation via mediation and conferencing with the parties involved is undertaken.

2. Second Offence. The offending student is issued with a Bullying/Harassment Notice that informs parents of the College’s concerns and forewarns of the consequences should the behaviour continue. A Student Support Group Meeting may also be undertaken at this stage.
3. Third Offence. Suspension procedures will be instigated. Repeated bullying behaviour may lead to exclusion from the College.
Lyndale Secondary College students are expected to:
• refuse to be involved in any form of bullying, either alone or as part of a group,
• report the incident or any suspected incident to a trusted adult at the College (eg Pastoral Teacher, Teacher, Coordinator, Student Wellbeing staff),
• take some form of preventative or supportive action (eg speak up on that person’s behalf) if they feel safe to do so.
What Parents and family members can do to help:
• Watch for signs of distress in your child (eg unwillingness to attend school, a pattern of headaches, missing personal belongings, requests for extra money, damaged clothes or bruising).
• Take an active interest in your child’s social life and acquaintances, encouraging out of school social contact.
• Encourage your child to take the initiative by immediately telling a staff member about any bullying incident.
• Keep a written record of what is happening (who, what, when, why, how).
• Discourage retaliation.
• Be willing to attend interviews at the College if your child is involved in any bullying incident.
• Be willing to inform the Form Teacher, Coordinator, Student Wellbeing staff or Principal class of any cases of suspected bullying, even if your own child is not directly affected.
• Teach your child the value of supportive relationships.
• If the problem continues to occur please re-contact the school.

Sub School Leaders: Diana Kennedy, Bill Hollingworth

Student Engagement & Wellbeing Leader: Ana Finlay

Psychologists: Merrin Girolami, Rosemary Kucan