“R U OK?” at Bingara Central School

September 21, 2017

On Friday September 15, Bingara Central School helped raise awareness and support for “R U OK?” day.

This day is particularly significant as it encourages people to start having meaningful conversations with others. We do not need to be an expert, just a good mate and a good listener. If students of Bingara Central School notice a friend or another peer not themselves, or feeling a bit down they may help by asking “R U OK?” with the understanding that this is an everyday question and not a one day a year question.

Did you know that 1 in 4 students are victims’ of bullying? Over 50% of students will have bullied someone by the time they leave school and nearly half of Australia’s children experience bullying over social networks. Australia has one of the highest rates of bullying and misuse of technology.

Bingara Central School has implemented two important frameworks to assist students with bullying and focusing on their safety at school. The first was the introduction of Stymie, which is an anonymous online tool to submit reports of bullying and misconduct. Staff at Bingara Central School will work to resolve the issues that may have arisen in a professional and ethical manner.

he founder of Stymie introduced this resource as another source of communication between students and teachers. On September 14, the founder delivered a talk to staff, parents and community. She highlighted the importance of parental supervision relating to their child’s use of technology.

The presentation also shared with parents how they can remain a step ahead of their children. This is a particularly important issue for teachers, as students are bringing and using their devices in an educational environment.

Bingara Central School is actively revising and developing management strategies to deal with the use of personal devices whilst at school.

Students from Bingara Central School spell out the ‘R U OK?’ message on the school oval.

Students from Bingara Central School spell out the ‘R U OK?’ message on the school oval.

The ‘STOP REPORT SUPPORT’ is the second framework introduced to help combat the nationwide epidemic of bullying and implemented throughout the entire school from K-12. The ‘STOP REPORT SUPPORT’ has a simple procedure that equips the victim and bystander with power to let the bully know that what they are doing is not okay. Students are encouraged to report all bullying incidences to a teacher, who would resolve, prevent and monitor the situation in an effort to stop further occurrences. They can also use Stymie as a resource to report the incident if they are unsure whether to speak up.

Bingara Central School’s “R U OK?” day concluded with all students participating in spelling out the phrase “R U OK?” on the school oval. Mr Crispin filmed this using his drone, which took some great footage. These pictures have reached nearly 12,000 people and has created awareness about “R U OK?” in a much wider area than just within the school or Bingara.