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Violence is a community issue that affects people of different ages and occurs in various situations.

Whether it happens in someone’s home, school, workplace, sporting field or in a public space, it is not acceptable and community members want it to stop. Finding solutions is challenging so a collective effort is needed to address this community issue.

School communities play an important role. Together, school staff, students and their families can teach children and young people about appropriate behaviour, provide opportunities for them to examine and challenge social norms, and provide learning environments that promote positive and respectful relationships.

In all Western Australian schools, students learn about respectful relationships as part of the curriculum. They learn what behaviour is and is not appropriate; how to build respectful, reciprocal relationships; and how they can respond to, or challenge, disrespectful attitudes and behaviours.

Sadly, violence in the home is a reality for some students with one in four children exposed to domestic violence. This means it is important for teachers to also teach about respectful relationships in the context of family and domestic violence prevention, and for schools to take a whole school approach to this issue and promoting gender equality.

Support is being provided to school staff through the WA Respectful Relationships Teaching Support Program to develop their knowledge, skills, confidence and community partnerships to teach age appropriate content about gender equality and know how to respond safely and appropriately to any students disclosing  they have witnessed or been subject to family and domestic violence. The program also guides schools in developing practices that promote gender equality and reflect community expectations regarding family violence.

Free access to the Triple P - Positive Parenting Program has been made available for parents at Kindergartens across Western Australia.

This program gives parents strategies to develop healthy relationships with their children, manage their behaviour and prevent problems developing.

Find out more about the Triple P program.

Schools should be safe, nurturing environments where children can learn and grow. School staff work with their communities to foster and maintain a culture of positive behaviour, respect and unity, and address any incidents of violence.

Unfortunately, there are a few students who intentionally harm or intimidate other students and/or staff members. They are in the minority, but their actions can have a significant impact on those targeted and others in their school community. 

The following measures are in place to assist schools staff to respond to situations where students are intentionally violent:

  • automatic suspension of students who intentionally attack or instigate a fight with another student or film a fight between students
  • automatic move to exclude students who intentionally harm school staff
  • alternative learning settings for identified excluded students and/or the most violent students where they will be provided with an intensive, individualised program of support to effect positive and lasting change in their behaviour
  • advice, training and support for school staff in relation to responding to aggressive behaviour and identifying what actions are appropriate and reasonable
  • changes to schools’ behaviour policies to ensure students are accountable for their behaviour.

Schools are an integral part of the community. School staff actively work with their school communities and wider communities to provide support for their students and families, find solutions to issues and create opportunities to enhance students’ education and wellbeing.

When dealing with violence, they seek support from parents, community leaders and local organisations to prevent and manage aggressive behaviour and promote a culture of respect, unity and positive behaviour in their schools.

Parents and the community working together with the school is the best way to reduce violence from occurring.

Contact your local school to find out what they are doing to address aggression and promote positive behaviour, and how you can support them.