Creating a safe and inclusive school culture in which all students can thrive is a collective endeavour. Parents and caregivers, like all other community members, share responsibility for the way in which they help to shape that culture.
Schools have a role to play by encouraging parents and caregivers (along with other school community members) to question and reflect upon our individual and collective beliefs and assumptions about what is “normal”. As a community, we can engage with all members to examine our own and others’ use of power. Ideally, such open and non-judgmental explorations can incite all adults in the school community – whether they are parents and caregivers, teachers, administrators or other school staff members – to consider how we may all bully, or accept and tolerate bullying, in our day-to-day interactions with children and young people and even with each other.
Fostering open and practical conversations about our use of power, our beliefs and our assumptions can encourage parents and caregivers to take responsibility for their impact on the development of school culture. Such discussions are most useful when they lead to discussions about practical strategies for direct application to real life situations. (See Strategies for Positive Action.)