Strong Kids, Solid Schools: Reducing the effects of bullying among Aboriginal school children living in rural areas of Western Australia
It is important to know what Aboriginal communities think about childhood bullying and what school and community programs are appropriate in responding to bullying among Aboriginal children and young people. Solid Kids, Solid Schools aimed to: collect cultural understandings of bullying among Aboriginal children and communities; and work with Yamaji school communities to develop locally relevant and culturally secure bullying prevention and management strategies.
During 2006 and 2007 the Solid Kids, Solid Schools project collected Yamaji stories through interviews and focus groups with Aboriginal students, their parents and carers, Elders, and Aboriginal school staff including Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers (AIEOs), Aboriginal Teacher’s Assistants (ATAs) and Aboriginal teachers.
In 2008, the Solid Kids, Solid Schools engaged in community focus groups to create strategies for a sustainable school and community-based bullying prevention and reduction program. Focus groups were held in four locations throughout the Yamaji region to collect community contributions of possible bullying prevention strategies for use with Aboriginal children and young people. In 2009, Solid Kids, Solid Schools incorporated community feedback from the previous three years to develop a web-based resource to assist parents and carers, students, and school communities in bullying prevention and management. This resource was developed under the direction of the Solid Kids, Solid Schools Steering Committee. On 28 April 2010, the Solid Kids, Solid Schools website was released at a community launch held at Beachlands Primary School. We believe the website is the first of its kind in helping Aboriginal families and school communities work together towards making things better for Aboriginal kids at school.
This study has helped to improve our understanding of the bullying experiences of Yamaji people. It also helped us to develop some strategies that could help families and schools to prevent and manage bullying involving Yamaji students.
Professor Donna Cross
Ms Dionne Paki
Dr Lydia Hearn
Dr Sharyn Burns