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Safe, supportive and respectful learning environments are positive for students, leading to improved academic outcomes, increased confidence and improved attendance.
The Safe Schools Anti-bullying Initiative (Safe Schools) aims to help staff understand and address bullying in schools.
Member schools commit to building a school that does not tolerate homophobic, biphobic or transphobic bullying, and to creating inclusive and supportive environments for all students.
The Safe Schools Anti-bullying Initiative will operate for 3 years and the department has partnered with SHINE SA to deliver services and support to secondary schools. These services include:
- training for school staff
- advice and support for school staff
- promoting youth leadership, for example through the annual action day.
Safe Schools provides school staff with training, advice and support to improve their skills and ability to better support all students in the school consistent with their responsibilities under sex discrimination legislation and departmental policy and procedures:
• Supporting same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse student policy
• Transgender and intersex support procedure
SHINE SA can provide information to parents on request.
All students have a fundamental right to learn in an inclusive, safe, supportive environment and to be treated with respect. School staff, parents and the local community also have the right to teach, work and participate in an environment that is safe, inclusive and supportive.
Same-sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse young people suffer high levels of verbal and physical homophobic and transphobic abuse, with 80% of it occurring at school.
The Safe Schools program provides staff with the skills and confidence to tackle homophobic, transphobic and biphobic bullying in schools.
Safe Schools is not a school subject in the curriculum and is not a relationships and sexual health education program for students. DECD approved relationships and sexual health education is well established in SA and is taught through the Australian Curriculum Health and Physical Education learning area.
Under regulation 96 of the Education Regulations 2012, a parent can seek an exemption (in writing) for their child’s participation in relationships and sexual health education lessons. The department encourages parents to discuss any concerns about the Australian Curriculum content directly with the school principal.
Student participation in events that are organised by Safe Schools requires parental consent.
If you need immediate support, one of these services can help:
- Lifeline Australia 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
- Headspace 1800 650 890
- QLife 1800 184 527.