Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Kids Have to Want Change; Bullying Won't Stop If Students Don't Take Teachers' Advice

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Kids Have to Want Change; Bullying Won't Stop If Students Don't Take Teachers' Advice

Article excerpt

Byline: Madura McCormack Madura.McCormack@dailymercury.com.au

BULLYING in schools can't be stopped if students aren't willing to change their behaviour, a Mackay principal has said.

Pioneer State High School principal Matt Horton said the aim of schools was always to put an end to bullying behaviour, but it was up to students to take advice on board.

"It is our responsibility to look after the welfare of kids, that's number one," he said. "Their safety is our priority; but we can only work within the powers that we've got to provide the interventions that we have.

"You've got to go into the job expecting there will be times in which kids, given their age and maturity levels, and possibly their values, will engage in physical violence," Mr Horton said.

"We do what we can, but if you're still choosing to behave that way, it's like you've refused to follow the instructions of the professional that's there to help."

It was important for students to communicate with teaching staff, and understand that interventions do happen behind the scenes, Mr Horton said.

"They have to be willing to tell us and have trust that they have to tell us a couple of times to make sure that we can build up a case against bullying.

"Because bullying is behaviour that is repeated; so if it's a one off incident and you've reported it, we'll do the warnings but we've got to give the student a chance to change their behaviour. …

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