Appraising the Importance of Bullying for the National ‘Safe Schools’ Framework

ABSTRACT

This report is an update of Occasional Paper No. 4.2

The purpose of this current report is to cast a critical eye over some aspects of the National Safe Schools Framework. This paper deals with the rationale for the program, the components involved and how it is aligned. The links between bullying and safe schools are explored through the lens of some empirical data that show bullying is not the key issue for students in Year 7 to 12.

Within the National Safe Schools Framework, it is suggested that

(a) the concept of “safe” is poorly defined;

(b) there is lack of clarification of stakeholder priorities;

(c) that the lack of connectedness with the school is not solely a result of bullying;

(d) that the effective ingredients of this social therapy program are not clearly delineated; and

(e) that bullying may well be a function of our social values within the context of the depersonalisation of the modern schooling process.

By and large our schools are already safe when compared with the remainder of our community.

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