‘Don’t just walk away’

Parents of children bullied at school have been urged to ensure they maintain open and clear communication with schools to avoid making “premature” decisions.

Latrobe Valley principal liaison Mark Anderson, of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, works with Latrobe Valley schools to facilitate the management of students’ wellbeing.

Mr Anderson said it was integral for parents to make formal attempts to communicate with school staff before making any decision to move their child to another school.

“Some parents will not talk to schools about it or perceive that a school has dealt with it in particular way, but if there’s going to be any chance of solving the problem, effective communication is the key,” he said.

“If it’s about an issue and the parent doesn’t think its getting resolved it is terribly important to make an appointment with the principal,” Mr Anderson said.

“Sometimes parents will call the school and ask to talk to someone over the phone, or just ‘door stop’ somebody, but making an appointment is necessary to properly outline their issues.”

Mr Anderson said changing schools should only be looked at after parents have exhausted all resolution options with the school.

“Don’t just walk away; schools are very disposed at trying to sort these things out and can be very flexible, but parents have got to be prepared to engage in that.”

Mr Anderson said if parents felt they were not having their issues properly addressed, they should contact the DEECD for advice.

“We have senior officers in each of the areas that can work towards a support a resolution around that,” Mr Anderson said.