Hunter School of the Performing Arts targets technology to combat bullying

HELP AT HAND: The Hunter School of the Performing Arts students Jessica Heaney, 16, and Jules Rankin, 17, pictured at the front of the photo with other students involved in the school's anti-bullying program.

HELP AT HAND: The Hunter School of the Performing Arts students Jessica Heaney, 16, and Jules Rankin, 17, pictured at the front of the photo with other students involved in the school's anti-bullying program.

HUNTER School of the Performing Arts is taking a new technology-based approach to combat bullying.

The school's bullying website launched term two, Connectathspa.com, allows students to submit bully reports online, as well as providing information on the effects of bullying and how to respond to bullying.

Students can report incidents of threats, malicious online comments, rumour spreading or physicality - whether it be in the playground, on the way to school, online or over the phone.

The school guarantees the reports will be followed up within 48 hours during the school's sitting sessions.

Twelve students have also been trained as peer mediators in an attempt to include both students and teachers in addressing any bullying issues.

Since the website was launched, students have lodged four incident reports.

Year 11 student Jessica Heaney, 16, said Hunter School of the Performing Arts had a unique student make-up.

As a selective arts high school, she said any bullying was more likely to be cyber-oriented, rather than physical.

She said allowing students to make a report at home, rather than dropping a note in a box at school had taken the stigma out of reporting incidents.

Year 12 student Jules Rankin, 17, said he hoped the website would completely eradicate bullying from the school.

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