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14 May 2021

posted 13 May 2021, 16:11 by Carolyn Brett
Let's talk about bullying.

Next week is the official Bully Free NZ week. Bullying is a word that can be misused, it's also a form of behaviour that can be one of the most frustrating things teachers, parents (and children) have to deal with. Bullying, unfortunately, exists in every school to larger and smaller degrees and, sadly, in many workplaces where human beings exist!

Sometimes, it's obvious, overt, and this makes sorting it out more straightforward..... but in my 35 years of dealing with it in schools, it is always the more subtle forms that are so difficult and complex to deal with.

It is useful to also be mindful of the use of the term ‘bullying’ and be very clear as to what it is. It has 4 defining characteristics:
  • Bullying is deliberate
  • Bullying involves a power imbalance
  • Bullying has an element of repetition
  • Bullying is harmful
In a nutshell, it is not a word to be thrown around lightly!

Developing resilience in our children, supporting them to have the ability to bounce back, to stand up for themselves, to be flexible, to show courage and make good decisions, to deal with things for themselves, to really understand who they are and what they value can never be underestimated.

Ultimately, we have one value = one rule and that is of respect.
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I really like the visual from the official Bully Free material:



Our foundation in Positive Education/Wellbeing serves us well but we can't do it alone. Please - we need your help in bullying prevention. Teachers need to know if you have a hunch something is simmering....... although we have many eyes and ears and experience between us, we can never know everything!

Let's put energy and action into keeping bullying behaviour well outside our WBS gates.

Bully Free NZ has some great resources for parents and whānau too.
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