12 Jun 24

Empowering Children to be Safe from Abuse

Newsletter | Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

A couple of times each year I write a reminder about our ‘Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy’. Let me encourage you to read or re-read this policy. It is such an important policy, that it had to be approved by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA). The VRQA confirmed that our policy satisfies their stringent criteria.

One part of the policy is deliberately written so as to be easily understood by children. That makes sense when you think that a policy intended to empower children, needs to be able to be understood by children themselves. The teachers of junior primary children use this section with their students.

Here is part of that child-accessible section. As you read it, it will become clear that this policy is about appropriately empowering children…

The Rules for Adults
Parents, teachers, helpers, gardeners, tradies, all adults must keep these rules.

  1. All adults must look after children. This includes Indigenous-Aussie kids, Indian-Aussie kids, local-Aussie kids, African-Aussie kids, Asian-Aussie kids, and all the other cultures.
  2. Adults must never scare kids or touch kids in creepy ways.
  3. Every child is precious, so all adults have to protect kids from cruelty.
  4. Adults have to speak helpfully to kids and listen carefully to kids.
  5. Jesus cared about children, so our adults have to care about children too.
  6. Children are all different, and they are all precious, so all children need to be safe even if they look different, sound different, move differently from other children.
  7. In classrooms and other spaces adults need to make sure that children feel safe.
  8. Adults must never hit children or touch children in unkind or creepy ways.
  9. Adults must talk with children in ways that are not scary or creepy for the children.
  10. Adults must protect all children just as much as each other whether they like them or not.
  11. A) An adult must not have secret conversations with children about their private parts, and an adult is not allowed to touch children’s private parts.
    B) An adult must never ask a child to touch them, especially their private parts.
  12. Every adult must care for every child just as much as every other child; no favourites.
  13. An adult can give children a pat on the head or a pat on the shoulder in a friendly way, but no creepy touching.
  14. Adults must say kind things to children, no scary or creepy conversations.
  15. A teacher can take a photo of school children for awards and other fun things, but no scary settings and no creepy photos allowed.
  16. If an adult breaks one of these rules, the child has to tell another teacher, or their mum, or the principal, or a different adult, and they have to keep telling other adults until the problem is stopped.
  17. Adults have to care for children in ways that shows younger children need more care and older children are a bit better at looking after themselves, but still need to be looked after.
  18. All children are precious, every child is valuable.
  19. Adults must take it seriously if a child tells them these rules have been broken by another adult.
  20. Adults should only use the adult toilets and children should only go in the children’s toilets.
  21. Adults must watch children and listen to them to keep them safe.”

Children are precious. We adults whether parents or staff, must create emotionally and physically safe environments for children. This policy helps remind us of our duty in caring for all children.

David Gleeson