Opposition Leader Pledges $15.3m To Tackle School Bullying
A three strikes anti-bullying policy will replace Victoria's LGBTI Safe Schools program if the coalition wins November's state poll.
The opposition wants to force serial bullies to attend disciplinary hearings with their parents, school principal and victim's parents.
The focus of any anti-bullying program must be all kinds of bullying - not just LGBTi. I despair for our kids but at least this policy looks to be restoring some form of common sense for Victoria.https://t.co/KFsZshp4D6— Kirralie Smith (@KirralieS) July 17, 2018
The $15.3 million program would be rolled out across state schools, with private campuses able to opt-in, if the Liberal-Nationals win power in November.
It would replace the Andrews government's Safe Schools program focusing on gender and sexuality, which the coalition opposes.
"Everyone deserves to be treated with equal respect regardless of age, gender, sexuality, religion, ethnicity or appearance, and I think that's a really important value to teach kids," Liberal leader Matthew Guy said in a statement on Wednesday.
"Today's school bullies are tomorrow's workplace bullies."
Under the plan, a student safety unit will maintain a record of disciplinary hearings for children who fail to change their ways after two warnings.
Department bureaucrats won't be able to overturn decisions by principals to expel serial bullies.
The coalition says the program will also recognise and reward children who stick up for bullying victims, but it's not clear exactly how this aspect will work.
A school safety unit to be set up within the education department would run the program in partnership with the anti-violence and bullying Alannah and Madeline Foundation.
The foundation will provide professional development sessions for school leaders, with parents, teacher and students also taking part in yearly workshops.