Staff and students take a stand against bullying

On Friday, March 17, the school community of St Joseph’s Primary School, Charlestown, joined over 1,810 schools across Australia to say “Bullying. No Way!” for the seventh National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence.

Principal of St Joseph’s, Jennifer Edstein-Boyes and teachers spoke with students about the National Day of Action and the importance of the powerful message that bullying and violence is never okay. St Joseph’s have held an event each year to support the annual anti-bullying campaign over the past three years to ensure the awareness remains strong. 

"At St Joseph’s, we believe that a National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence is very important in our school community as we are proactive about anti-bullying,” Mrs Edstein-Boyes said.

“Bullying can happen online, it can be someone in your class, it can be obvious to people or it can be hidden things that happen; but you have to speak up! Children need to feel they can come and talk to the adults, their teachers and parents so that we can help them work through it.”

Students took part in bullying scenarios and were spoken to about how to identify bullying, as well as the difference between conflict/not agreeing with people and bullying.

“Our biggest challenge is teaching children the difference between conflict and bullying. Bullying is when someone repeatedly and purposely makes your life uncomfortable or picks on you,” Mrs Edstein-Boyes said.

The school conducts an anonymous survey each term that all students in Years 1 to 6 participate in. This monitors if there is bullying occurring, hot spots in the school or if there’s a certain time of day situations are occurring. St Joseph’s also communicates with parents via Skoolbag app, posting tips regarding how to handle bullies, what to do if you are being bullied and how parents can help their children if they think they are being bullied. 

“If students ever feel like they are being bullied, we want to know about it so we can stamp it out at St Joseph's,” Mrs Edstein-Boyes said.

“We are always learning. St Joseph's is a learning community and it doesn't matter how old you are, there is always something to learn that will help benefit you in the future."

Photography by Gabrielle Sutherland.

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Alyssa Faith

Alyssa Faith was the Communications Manager for the Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle from 2016 - 2017 and a regular contributor to Aurora and