Manaakitanga: Our Year 9 Anti-Harassment Programme
To learn effectively, students need to feel emotionally safe and connected at school. Manaakitanga and Whanaungatanga are our school’s overarching values.
Harassment, bullying, mocking and shaming cause long-term psychological damage. At Mount Roskill Grammar School we take all harassment seriously. We don’t think it’s a “normal part of growing up”, we don’t believe it’s helpful to ignore it, we don’t think it’s “just a bit of friendly mocking”. We pro-actively work on preventing it, and actively deal with it when it does occur.
In term one each year, all Year 9 core classes have a workshop in the “Sunshine Room”, the large group room of the Counsellors that can seat a whole class in a circle. Students get an opportunity to get to know the two Counsellors who co-facilitate the sessions, and we explain how we work to support students.
We talk about the need to reach out for support, and the importance of referring yourself or your friend to a Counsellor if they feel low, and notice suicidal thoughts.
We explore harassment through this interactive workshop. Students learn about our fierce commitment to fight harassment and bullying, and some of the effective processes we use to stop it when it occurs.
Students can discuss harassment and bullying concerns confidentially with a counsellor. Together we will make a plan to stop the harassment. We can work with students individually, but sometimes it is more helpful to work with a whole class to stop harassment. Ultimately it is the student who discloses the harassment that decides how the problem is dealt with. Their identity can stay confidential.
Students can walk in for a face-to-face talk, or they can “private message” us on Facebook to consult about harassment issues. All communications are confidential.
Students can also talk to their Deans. Deans will actively listen to harassment concerns. They will take it seriously, and help it stop.
We have over 200 Student Mediators They can help students resolve conflict in a confidential and respectful way. We have a Mediation Room in Student Services, and requests for mediation can be made to a Counsellor, or to our Receptionist Jan Pace.
We encourage both students and their parents to tell on harassment! A common misunderstanding is that telling on harassment, mocking and bullying will make it worse. This is inaccurate. All forms of abuse thrive when secrecy is maintained. Finding the courage to bring the bullying into the open is the only way.
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