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Bullying hits the courts – Andrew Barr wishes to be seen to be doing something

By johnboy 5 May 2007 24

The Canberra Times has an interesting story on schoolyard bullying reaching the courts via a massive spike in the numbers of Personal Protection Orders being sought by parents concerned for their children’s safety.

Andrew Barr is seeking a briefing and wants to impose top down measures to reduce the number of orders being applied for. Which is not quite the same thing as seeking a reduction in bullying.

Good to see that the anti-social behaviour management strategies are working so well in place of corporal punishment.

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Bullying hits the courts – Andrew Barr wishes to be seen to be doing something
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nyssa76 7:27 pm 08 May 07

No the matter isn’t public vs private, however your points did need a response.

Bullying in Non Govt schools is more controlled and those children usually enrol in the local Govt school and cause problems all over again.

Bullying won’t disappear until schools are given the power to expel those students who are the cause of the problem.

VicePope 1:01 pm 08 May 07

Nyssa – I suspect we agree more than disagree. The problem is not public/private and I’d suggest it is not unknown for some students in both to challenge the system when they want out of it. There are only three seriously private schools in the ACT (the Grammars and Radford) and the rest are bog-standard Catholic or generic Christian with fairly modest fees. The parents at the latter are, in my experience, absolutely the same as the parents at any government school in terms of financial resources. The difference is that the school can be more active in getting them involved in a consistent way than may be possible at a government school. (And they might value the product a bit more, because they’re paying for it, and usually out of fairly average wages). So let’s not tar the entire non-government system with the wealthy brush.

I have known many non-Catholic children who go to Catholic schools for reasons like proximity, friendships and subject choices. When my family became aware of a teenage girl (non-Catholic) falling into strife/victimisation in the government system, the offers to take her on from McKillop and St Clares’ were faster and more considered than those from other schools in the government system. The subject of fees was not mentioned at all at that stage and I know that concessions of one kind or another are not uncommon.

But this thread isn’t about public/private but about responses to bullying in schools generally.

auntiesocial 1:47 am 08 May 07

It was explained to me by our Solicitor after we moved our son from the ACT public system, where he was stabbed in the eye with a syringe by a fellow student, that the bullying problems don’t disappear once the child has been moved to the Private system, the bullies parents just have more money and influence, which makes it all the harder to act against their children.

nyssa76 10:54 pm 07 May 07


(a) When the Federal Govt states there are Govt and Non Govt school students and that there is funding attached to either group – then the students who attend said schools are labelled as such.

(b) Most schools “get around it” because of their religious dogma. Staff who apply for teaching positions in Non Govt schools are prioritised according to their religion and/or University degree i.e. ACU.

(c) Non Govt students pale in comparison re: behaviour. In some schools to not wear a tie can get you sent home and labelled a “bad” student.

(d) They have more leverage as the parents are paying copious amounts of money and want a good return for their investment.

(e) They “seem” more willing, but it doesn’t mean they really want to deal with the issues. Redirecting a student to a more “relaxed” Non Govt school or to the local Govt school does happen, especially when the student is “bad” and more so when they aren’t of the same denomination.

Students who are violent and/or anti-social should lose the “right” to be in a mainstream school. Teachers shouldn’t then be made to man said “zoos” as they don’t need the constant threats with sharp implements or death threats.

Again, these children are a reflection on their parents and if their parents won’t “do” anything about them, then they should be made to teach them.

Teachers aren’t babysitters and the other 29 kids aren’t an audience.

Again, Mr. Barr needs to speak to people in the coal face if he is to achieve anything.

kiwi – I 100% sympathise.

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