Corpus Christi College is at the forefront of adopting measures to ensure our students are safe whilst at school through a range of measures to educate students about digital citizenship, and our efforts to stamp out cyberbullying. There have been recent media reports of schools introducing online reporting systems which we have had in place for 5 years. We continually invite our community to take action against bullying in all its forms.
Ahead of the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence on March 16, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has written to school principals across the country in a bid to tackle bullying and violence.
Staff at Corpus Christi believe all students have the right to be safe, and that bullying and violence has no place at the College. We have taken a clear stand on this issue.
I need the help of staff and our parent community to ensure we stamp out bullying. We can only do this if students are empowered to stand up to bullies, to know that bystanders have an important part to play to stamp out bullying at the College. Homeroom teachers have facilitated a process to discuss various issues surrounding bullying and what to do in the event they witness any behaviour from a fellow student which is of concern.
The Prime Minister said more than 2300 schools had registered as official National Day of Action schools, with more than one million students committed to take a stand. Corpus Christi is one of the registered schools.
For me, it isn’t about taking one day of action, but that we continually address this issue which can do harm to our students. Corpus Christi is known for our pastoral care program – we work hard to ensure we continue this positive reputation in our community.
Corpus has been a registered e-Smart school since 2012. This means ‘we have a comprehensive approach for managing cybersafety and dealing with bullying and cyberbullying in our school’ according to the national foundation which registers schools.
Corpus Christi College has also had an online reporting system called Corpus ‘Concerns’ available on the Student Portal since 2011.
Every week, Heads of Year investigate reports made to them regarding cyberbullying. At the most serious end, if students ‘press the red button’ they are provided with the following information with a request for a first name (surname is not required), an email contact, and a brief description of the concern:
Urgent, you need Help Now! It's time sensitive and you need help figuring out what to do next.
A friend in your Year 9 class has been sexting with an adult, you haven't seen the pictures but they've told you they're planning on meeting up with them tonight.
It concerns something illegal or a serial and immediate threat of danger. During school hours we will directly contact you and possibly the person(s) to try and help. Outside of school hours, please speak to a trusted adult or call Police 131 444 or Lifeline (Crisis Support) 131 114.
At the lowest level, students are asked the question, ‘Are you seeing something that you’re not sure is ok? You’ve seen it and you want it to stop. You don’t feel comfortable confronting the persons involved’. Our response: ‘We will verify that the incident has occurred, check the level of damage and then decide what action needs to be followed’.
We will always address matters that come to our attention in a sensitive and considered approach consistent with our Pastoral Care, Managing Student Behaviour and ICT related policies.