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Tackling Bullying Shouldn’t Lead to Stupidity

The purpose of clamping down on bullying is to allow all students the right to feel safe and secure in their school environment.  But steps taken to negate bullying shouldn’t need to be radical or expensive.  For example, the rule that students should not socialise in groups larger than 3 may be well-intentioned, but in reality it reinforces what a sad and sorry place a badly run school can be.

That’s why I am saddened to hear of the latest over the top anti-bullying measure – Unisex toilets!

Tasmania’s Education Department is calling for calm over unisex toilets in some new primary schools.

The individual, self-contained toilets have been installed at two Burnie schools in efforts to reduce bullying in toilet blocks.

Parents have raised concerns about the shared toilets, and say they weren’t consulted.

It baffles me that this idea has received so much attention.  The idea may make the toilets a less attractive meeting place for bullies, but it won’t make bullying less attractive.  Tackling bullying isn’t about toilets it’s about the culture of the school.  Instead of designing toilet blocks to tackle bullying, how about keeping the message simple and clear?

1.  Our school does not tolerate bullying of any kind.

2.  Consequences will be metered out to those found bullying as well as any passive bystanders who could have alerted a teacher or diffused the situation.

3.  We will fight for the rights of all our students, and do our best to ensure that our children leave school with their self-esteems’ elevated rather than diminished.

Is that so hard?

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