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Could a code of conduct for parents, students curb teacher-targeted bullying?

Teachers are considering leaving the profession over the bullying they cop, so experts have floated a possible partial solution to the problem: a mandatory code of conduct for parents and students.

Their study found a vast majority (80 per cent) of teachers experienced some form of bullying in the previous 12 months.

One in 10 had been hit or punched in that time.

Of the 567 teachers who responded to the online survey, around 85 per cent thought teacher-targeted bullying was a problem in Australian schools, and 83 per cent considered leaving the profession because of it.

Sociology researcher at La Trobe University Dr Paulina Billett said teacher-targeted bullying needs to be addressed if Australia is to attract and retain good teachers.

To help curb teacher-targeted bullying, the study’s authors recommended developing a mandatory code of conduct for parents and students, on top of an examination of current federal and state policy and responses.

“While strict codes of conduct are in place around teacher behaviour, only some schools have a code of conduct that applies to students and their parents,” Billett said.

“A compulsory code of conduct for all parents and students could be one step in the right direction to help prevent and tackle teacher-targeted bullying and harassment.”

The study also found that approximately 58 per cent of respondents experienced at least one incident of parent-led bullying. Most often this was in the form of verbal abuse, such as offensive and disparaging comments.

More respondents (71.4 per cent) had been bullied or harassed by a student – commonly by means of swearing and yelling.

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  1. I support the idea of a Code of Conduct for Parents. It’s a good way to encourage positive support and to control bad conduct.

  2. While we continue to instil a sense of student entitlement to their ‘rights’ we are not doing well on explaining that they also have responsibilities. Most students don’t realise that while they have the right to exercise their rights they are not entitled to the same level of rights as an adult.
    Parents have not been educated well enough to accept that the person teaching their child has fundamental rights as a member of society and they are not educational punching bags when dissatisfied with a system.

    I’m pleased that education review exists but I’d like to hear some ‘on the ground’ voices instead of the view points of Doctors and Professors who are researchers.

    Suggesting any type mandatory application is always fraught with opposition and disdain and nearly impossible to impose. This is not to say that it can’t work, just difficult.

    I write a blog page of my own and reading your articles at least allows me to view topics of discussion.

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