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Bullying at Kingsford Smith?

By johnboy - 1 July 2009 77

When the ACT Government began rolling out plans for “Super Schools” many were apalled at the idea of cramming overly disparate age groups into the same facility.

The Liberals’ Steve Dozspot is claiming that out at the newish West Belconnen Kingsford Smith School all is not well:

    “Systemic bullying and a lack of a ratified school specific bullying policy are the main concerns of families. However the biggest issues parents have been concerned about is that they are not being listened to by the school and ultimately the Minister,” Mr Doszpot said.

    “Parents have raised some serious concerns with me, about the lack of a clear separation between younger students and the more senior high school students. This issue was raised during the planning phase and an issue which parents were assured would be addressed as a priority before the school opened.

    “Currently, the school has Year 7 students sharing a playground with students as young as Year 1. Parents were worried this exacerbated the potential for the bullying of younger students.

    “Parents are also concerned that the language and behaviour adopted by the older students will have an effect on the younger ones.

Apparently the bullying policy is up to be ratified by the board on 28 July.

What’s Your opinion?


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77 Responses to
Bullying at Kingsford Smith?
Thumper 8:23 pm 01 Jul 09

I miss those old private school bullying days. *sigh* Days when I could aspire to be assistant school bully…

missalli 7:14 pm 01 Jul 09

I agree that bullying is a commonplace thing(very sad),although as a parent of KSS students, I believe that the current “draft policy” is enabling students with behavioural issues. At a community meeting I attended, Mr Powell had almost nothing to say about any parental concerns and his most common response was “it’s teething problem’s”. Whilst I agree with that statement somewhat, I feel that the current policies and steps put in place to reduce the bullying are in fact giving the students some sort of power over mostly new teachers, who have not had to deal with bullies before. I myself am just trying to teach my children about self confidence and respect, so that if they suffer from more than the average schoolyard taunts, they can hopefully brush it off.

As for the segregated playgrounds, according to a representitive of the Dept. of Ed and Mr Powell, this was to go ahead but due to lack of teacher supervision on the playground(?) this was not possible. Go figure. “We do not have enough teachers to supervise segregated play areas, but we have enough to supervise 750 kids running willy nilly”….hmmmm

rottweiler 6:14 pm 01 Jul 09

as a parent at this school my daughters in year 3 have or are beening bullied by older boys and girls boys are worst, to the point she had her head stoved into a brick wall on one occassion. Punishment if they catch the kids in the act is one recess or lunch in other locked court yard and I was only informed of this when my daughter came home crying which is also every other day. The school response is they need to catch the kids on the play ground or really there’s nothing they can do about it. I’ve told my daughters who also have a learning disablity and are in a special class to kick the shit out of these kids if it happens again as the teachers don’t seem to care.
One of my daughters got sent home for the day for defending herself go figure.

trevar 6:14 pm 01 Jul 09

Genie said :

Bullying is more common with students of the same age group.

Quite right. There’s no significant difference between kindergarten and year 6 students sharing a playground and year 1 and year 7 students sharing a playground. Nor is there much of a difference between these situations and year 7 students sharing a playground with year 12 students, as happens in every other state (except Tasmania). It’s overly simplistic to think that bullying is a result of mixing age groups. Especially since most societies since the dawn of human history have mixed people of ALL ages in the same ‘playgrounds’.

Bullying is not caused by the mixing of age groups, but by the mixing of bullies with victims of bullying, and I don’t think anyone’s come up with a solution for that problem. There are a few strategies that reduce it, and the school should have put these in place earlier. I still think separating ages groups is useful, even in schools with smaller age ranges, but it’s hardly going to prevent bullies from bullying. That’s a problem the teaching profession will be trying to figure out a solution for for many more decades.

Genie 5:45 pm 01 Jul 09

Morgan said :

chrispy said :

Year 7 students sharing a playground with students as young as Year 1.

Um.. that was normal when I was in school. Has everything changed now?

Well Year Seven is high school and year one is primary school, so its unusual.

When I was in Primary School, In kindergarten we had the same playground as the yr 6 students… Same age bracket.

Bullying is more common with students of the same age group.

MrMagoo 3:45 pm 01 Jul 09

also, the new black bars surrounding the school look horrible. very institutional, the place just needs a roll of barbwire on the to complete the prison look.

All schools in NSW mostly have these bars. It’s to stop someone’s little precious ones from trashing their place of learning.

farq 2:23 pm 01 Jul 09

the mixing of primary and secondary is the reason my kids don’t /& won’t go there.

also, the new black bars surrounding the school look horrible. very institutional, the place just needs a roll of barbwire on the to complete the prison look.

deezagood 1:45 pm 01 Jul 09

Most primary schools have separate play areas for the very young kids (up to grade 2) to prevent them from being overrun by the bigger kids. I think this is a very good thing, having observed some of the revolting, aggressive grade 6 boys at our school. I feel sorry for the kids at the superschool, if this is, indeed, true.

Morgan 1:38 pm 01 Jul 09

chrispy said :

Year 7 students sharing a playground with students as young as Year 1.

Um.. that was normal when I was in school. Has everything changed now?

Well Year Seven is high school and year one is primary school, so its unusual.

MrMagoo 1:19 pm 01 Jul 09

In absence of a school specific anti-bullying policy one would think the Dept’s policy would suffice. Correct me if I am wrong but didn’t the despot bring this up about 6 weeks ago. didn’t it get enough traction for him that he thought he’d raise it again?

Feathergirl 12:50 pm 01 Jul 09

28th of July? So the little ones get to be bullied for another month before anything might get looked at being changed? Poor little tackers, I feel for them.

chrispy 12:50 pm 01 Jul 09

Year 7 students sharing a playground with students as young as Year 1.

Um.. that was normal when I was in school. Has everything changed now?

grunge_hippy 12:49 pm 01 Jul 09

exactly. another beat up by politicians and media. there are bullies at every school, and kingsford smith is no different. they have had a difficult time with the principal suffering and aneurysm just before school started, apart from the difficulty of starting a new school with kids from lots of different other schools.

GardeningGirl 12:48 pm 01 Jul 09

The school opened without an anti-bullying policy?
All years share a playground?
How beeping ridiculous, and even worse that parents were misled when they rightly raised the issue.

housebound 12:21 pm 01 Jul 09

This is not news to anyone in the school-gossip chain. The news is that it has taken so long to escape into the public domain.

That said, it’s not all bad. It’s just not as good as it should be.

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