Parents shine light on bullies

Robert DoughertyNorth West Telegraph

Accounts of alleged sustained bullying at Hedland Senior High School surfaced on social media last week, with the school saying in response it took bullying complaints seriously.

The fracas started with parents posting a social media page requesting advice about alleged bullying at the school.

One report posted by a parent, which attracted more than 100 comments from other residents in similar situations, said students were being forced to fight their tormentors because of a lack of support.

“My son has been bullied since he started high school here in Hedland, before we came here he loved school and would never miss a day,” the parent posted.

“My boy has been suspended (multiple) times because he has felt he’s had no option but to stand up to this group.

“We’ve been in and out of meetings with staff but ... nothing has been done, this is the tip of the iceberg for my boys and I will welcome anything to resolve this situation.

“I feel the high school has been sugar-coating a lot of this bullying and I feel a lot of the teachers know what’s going on.”

Hedland Senior High School acting principal David Taylor said staff at the school took any complaints of bullying or harassment at school seriously and worked with students and their families to address their concerns.

“We provide extensive pastoral care for our students, co-ordinated by the team in our health and wellbeing centre,” he said.

“If a student is experiencing any issues, they are also encouraged to speak to a trusted teacher or seek assistance through their year level teacher, pastoral care co-ordinator or home room teacher.”

The school provides support through a health and wellbeing centre open for students and parents; the Milli Maya program for returning students; RU OK mental health awareness; The Roy Hill Foundation’s Ed-Connect mentor program; Healthy Minds counselling; and the Bullying No Way campaign.

Other social media group members suggested drastic action was needed, such as suing for negligence, home schooling those affected, attending self-defence classes, calling the police, or boycotting the school.

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