School takes no bully approach
from Sarah Collerton's article on ABC News:
....Some parents have accused schools of ignoring bullying problems, while others have looked for strategies to stamp out "modern" schoolyard violence.
But Brisbane Catholic school Villanova College is using an alternative method to tackle its bullying problem.
The school, for grade five to senior boys, implemented restorative practice (RP) in 2004, inspired by an Australian Story episode on a former policeman's restorative justice work.
Villanova says it no longer uses the term "bully", instead preferring "wrongdoer", "offender" or "the guy who did the wrong thing".
And it regularly holds Circle Time, which involves small groups of younger students talking about things that are worrying them.
In more serious cases of bullying, there is the "powerful and emotionally gruelling" Community Conference, where parents, teachers and other key stakeholders intervene.
"What's different about Villanova is it doesn't just see wrongdoing and then put the bully on detention or something," Villanova's vice-captain Sam McCall, 16, told ABC News Online.
"The attitude is that the bully is the end product of problems; so the meetings... involve students, teachers, parents sitting down, trying to work towards bringing out the source of the problem.
"I'm not sure how it works at other schools, but if you're constantly punishing the bully it'll probably just get them more angry. So if you work towards the source of the problem, you'll probably get better long-term results, so that's what's good about our system here.
"Bullying continues all the way throughout life, not just in school and formative years, so if we're getting more educated about it now, with good programs we have at Villa then in later life, we'll be better set-up to deal with those problems."....
Read the whole article.