Trafalgar Middle School’s new code of conduct has engaged students beyond the detention room — it’s entirely student generated.
“We went to every classroom and had input from the kids for what they want to see in their code of conduct,” said Murray Shunter, a teacher at Trafalgar.
“They’ve come up with just real excellent code of conduct which replaces sort of the dictatorial rules of school that’s laid down on them and now this is something that’s a little more healthy that applies to the students and the staff.”
The new code of conduct was created in the form a medicine wheel, a symbol from aboriginal culture, which has four directions and is related to the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical parts.
“The idea of the medicine wheel is that you balance each of the four directions, you don’t just focus on one point,” said Shunter. “We wanted to create something that would involve the kids and allow them to make Trafalgar a better community.”
The medicine wheel was presented to the school during an assembly recently with a round dance — an aboriginal friendship dance that the school had been practicing.
Shunter said the classes had been practicing the dance separately, but the assembly was the first time all 500 students and staff participated in it together with an aboriginal drum group in the centre.
“We’re hoping it will have a huge impact on not just the students, but the staff as well. If people follow it and they balance their life using this it will make us better and stronger as a school in the community,” said Shunter.
While it’s yet to be seen how the new code of conduct affects the school, Shunter said everyone involved is very supportive of it.
“We’re looking forward to what happens.”