The Peninsula School takes instances of bullying very seriously and has a number of policies in place to manage various types including cyber-bullying. The School is actively working to reduce the instances of cyber-bullying and to educate parents in issues surrounding cyber-safety as a means of supporting them and their children.
The School continues to liaise with other School communities and with individuals and organisations who can provide ongoing support and education in developing a culture of cyber safety within our community.
Cyber bullying can include such acts as posting or texting mean comments, making threats, sending insults or racial or ethnic slurs, and masquerading. Victims can delete or block the perpetrator, limit computer connection time, not respond to threatening or defamatory messages, never opening e-mail messages from sources they do not recognize and report the bullying to the School.
If the abuse occurs outside of School hours and off the School network the School will speak to the children involved in the abuse and make contact with the parents of those children involved. Evidence such as print outs or emails of the abuse or offensive comment or image is helpful to the discussion. When necessary, the School will protect your child by attributing the finding of the material to an anonymous child or parent. In our experience, this is often enough to stop the activity immediately. The School may also suggest strategies such as, ‘blocking’ or ‘deleting’ the offender, changing their password, resetting their privacy settings, changing their mobile phone number and so on.
If the abuse occurs at School and/or on the School network the School will disable the child’s account and an appropriate disciplinary consequence will be applied. Parents of the child will be informed and the child counselled on the expectations of the School’s Internet Use Policy.
If it were to continue the School may encourage you to make contact with the Police.
The Peninsula School conducts regular awareness programs with students to ensure their welfare and safety in an ICT learning environment. Our Cyber Ethics and Safety Committee oversees a range of initiatives including awareness programs conducted at each level of the School, policies, procedures and responsibilities.
There are a range of resources for parents seeking more information on cyber safety. These include http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/ which is part of the Federal Government’s cybersafety program and http://www.thinkuknow.org.au/site/index.asp developed by the Australian Federal Police and Microsoft Australia.
The Australian Government’s cybersafety help button provides internet users, particularly children and young people, with easy online access to cybersafety information and assistance available in Australia.
The help button is a free application that is easily downloaded onto personal computers. It provides help and advice on a range of online risks including cyberbullying, unwanted contact, scams and fraud, and offensive or inappropriate material.
All you need do is download it from this page and install it on your computer desktop. You can leave the button icon on your desktop or place it on the taskbar. Then just click it twice if you ever need help or advice about something unsafe or upsetting that you or have encountered on the internet.
All members of our community - past, present and future - were invited to join us as we celebrated fifty years of outstanding education on the Mornington Peninsula. We had a host of celebratory Golden Jubilee events in 2011.
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