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Countering violent extremism

Schools can play a supportive role in helping to protect young people from extremist influences.

Violent extremism is receiving a lot of attention in Australia. With it has come an increased focus on the supportive role schools can play in helping to protect young people from extremist influences. Ensuring students are safe and supported in our schools is an absolute priority.

Our schools strive to ensure every student experiences a sense of belonging in the school community – where each student is known and understood as an individual; where cultural and religious diversity are accepted; and where teachers and support staff care about each student’s progress and wellbeing.

Our teachers and support staff are skilled in identifying changes in the behaviour of all at-risk students, assessing potential concerns and providing appropriate support when needed. If a concern is raised about a student, the level of risk is assessed and, if required, support provided.

Pathways to violent extremism occurs when an individual is willing to use, or support the use of, unlawful violence as a means of pursuing their political, ideological or religious goals.

There is no single pathway to violent extremism.

Violent extremism is a complex issue requiring societal solutions that support at-risk individuals and the community. One approach – countering violent extremism – aims to address the social impacts of violent extremism by providing support to at-risk individuals before they choose, or continue on, a path of violent extremism.

A collective approach involving families, the community and government is therefore needed to empower communities to build resilience in at-risk individuals, which may reduce the likelihood that they proceed or remain on a pathway to violent extremism.

If you would like to know more about countering violent extremism and the role you can play visit the Australian Government’s Living Safe Together website.

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