Saturday, March 26, 2011

Casey Heynes' school Chifley Colledge Dunheved gets the all clear in bullying case

THE NSW Department of Education has cleared Chifley College of condoning a bullying culture, despite its principal allowing more than 60 incident reports involving Casey Heynes to stack up. 
The Year 10 student shot to international fame last week when a video of him fighting back against a schoolyard bully at his western Sydney public school went viral, reports the Sunday Telegraph.
The 16-year-old is seen pressed against a wall taking punches and taunts from a small Year 7 boy, Ritchard Gale, before snapping and throwing him to the ground.

During an interview with A Current Affair, Casey claimed he wrote between 60 and 70 incident reports to the school about the bullying, yet never got a break from the harassment.
A department spokesman said Chifley College principal Tim Jones would not be disciplined because he had done nothing wrong.

The spokesman admitted there were students who had been repeatedly abused by bullies but said the department was satisfied the Doonside school provided adequate support to the victims.
"Students who are subject to repeated bullying receive regular specialist and individual support," he said.
"The school supports students who report being bullied. The students are supported by a full-time counsellor, additional year advisers and peer mediators."
The department has also gagged the media from asking questions directly of Mr Jones or any teachers at Chifley College about the 60 reported complaints of bullying.
But speaking on the condition of anonymity, a school source confirmed Casey's incident reports had been ignored.

"The incident reports don't go anywhere - they just stack The department spokesman said every report filed to the principal had been addressed.

He would not detail how these had been addressed or how many reports had been received, but said the school had several ways to resolve instances of bullying.

These included disciplinary action, self-esteem programs, counsellor intervention and support and learning plans, as well as access to community support agencies.

Despite none of these methods helping Casey, the spokesman was adamant the school had done nothing wrong and had no need to overhaul its response to bullying.
The video has sparked calls for stronger supervision.
"The overwhelming bulk of bullying happens during recess and lunchtime, when students are not being supervised. We need more supervision, more staff in the playground," Parents and Citizens Federa- tion spokeswoman Sharryn Brownlee said.

"The duty of care is all day, not just in your classroom."
Jasmine Cook, of Yellow Rock, said she had to pull her daughter Brianna out of the local primary school because staff there refused to help her.
Brianna, 8, whom she claims was physically and mentally abused for two years, wants to encourage victims of bullying to stand up to their attackers.
"I was so scared of the bullies. They would push me down to the ground, jump on me and tackle me," she said.
"When I told the teacher, they would send me home, not send the bullies home."

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