Latest News

Charting Course: How do we intend to deal with bullying?

Category: Option E Educating

Leanne Entermann

Submitted by Leanne Entermann on Tue 13/03/18 15:34

What is bullying exactly? But also, what isn't it? What are the distinctions between an argument, a disagreement, a one-off thoughtless or mean action—the type of conflict that arises in schools from time to time and requires resolution—and bullying behaviour?

These are some of the questions we will be looking at on the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence this Friday, March 16.

But it won’t end there. This Friday will launch our BAC #choosekind culture campaign. Inspired by the movie Wonder, #choosekind will not only raise awareness about bullying but focus on the kind of culture we wish to nurture here at BAC. It will allow us to develop a common language and shared meaning around bullying so that we can have real conversations and respond effectively when bullying occurs with the hope of ultimately preventing it.



The ‘signatures’ of bullying are repetition, power and harm. It is not a once-off, specific incident. The national definition of bullying for Australian schools describes it this way “Bullying is ongoing misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that causes physical and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power over one or more persons. Bullying can happen in person or online, and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert).”

Types of bullying include:

  1. cyberbullying, and/or
  2. verbal bullying, and/or
  3. physical bullying



According to anti-bullying speaker and online safety expert Johnny Shannon, 75 percent of the bullying in schools is not recognised as bullying, but seen as teasing or having fun; 60 percent of Australian bullying occurs online; 84 percent of Australian students will experience bullying in their school career; 27 percent of Australian students will experience frequent bullying; and the top three things bullies target are appearance, sexuality, and disability.



This Friday, March 16, is National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence. The day will include a school assembly and classroom awareness activities and resources. The following week, a guest speaker for Primary and Secondary chapels will take an age-appropriate look at bullying generally, and cyberbullying specifically.

The national day of awareness will be the catalyst for our #choosekind culture campaign. We intend to get real about bullying, and to break down the power surrounding it, including the social pressure students may feel to remain silent.



Since commencing trials of Restorative Practice, a whole school approach to conflict resolution, we have added to our Student Wellbeing Team. This team will lead our College in a concerted, P-12 longterm strategy against bullying in our #choosekind culture campaign.

Our team now consists of:

  1. Stef De Campo (school counsellor)
  2. Annalise Linsday (chaplain)
  3. JP Martinez (chaplain)
  4. Denis Matthews (Secondary Restorative Practice coordinator)
  5. Ryan Vogel (Primary Restorative Practice coordinator)

If you have any questions about this campaign or Bullying. No Way! Day, please contact us on and a member of our Student Wellbeing Team will provide you with more information.

In a few weeks’ time, we will share a little more detail about what Restorative Practice is and isn’t, and how it can effectively disarm bullies and give victims a stronger voice.



  1. Anti-bullying expert Johnny Shannon writes a blog dealing with many of the issues around bullying and online bullying. In the article Bullying/Cyber Bullying: Six Walk Through Steps To Stop a Bully, you will find an infographic with the statistics quoted in this article. Please see other articles here—
  2. Empowered for Life by Jocelyne Chirnside is a book outlining how parents, teachers and communities can equip children to deal with everyday conflict and bullying. You can order it here: (Can be ordered on Kindle.)
  3. Bullying. No Way! is a government resource for schools and parents to stamp out bullying and violence in schools.


PHOTO: Both the Year 8 mentoring program, STARS, and the Year 9 compulsory Duke of Edinburgh activities create opportunities for teamwork, character development and community service.

AUTHOR: Principal Leanne Entermann writes a series of articles called Charting Course in which she talks about topics important to the future direction of the College.


Share this post


Get the latest from BAC in your inbox.