Preventing public disclosures

Actively discourage public disclosures by.

  • keeping discussions global rather than personal
  • distinguishing the difference between public and private information.
  • dissuading students from talking in the first person in class discussions.
  • encouraging students to talk in third person, for example, 'If a person... what if someone...'
  • maintaining a professional role.
  • answering questions and responding to statements globally without personalising, for example:
    • 'Everyone…'
    • 'Some people…'
  • using the one step removed strategy. This might include using fictitious case studies and moral dilemmas.
  • instead of the direct 'What would you do if...?' approach, substituting:
    • 'Suppose X happened to someone. What advice would you give them? What could they do?'
    • 'Imagine someone was feeling..., what advice would you give to help them in their situation?'
  • using conditional language, such as 'X might happen' or 'Z could happen'. not 'this will happen'.
  • using the protective interrupting strategy to interrupt students who begin to disclose private information. For example, saying 'it sounds as though you want to talk about this, why don't we talk about it after class?' After protective interrupting, guide the discussion back to one step removed.

Risk of significant harm

If a student discloses private information publicly and the teacher does suspect a student is at risk of significant harm they must inform their principal or workplace manager as per the Child Protection Policy: Responding to and reporting students at risk of harm.

The Mandatory Reporter Guide (MRG) can assist in making an informed decision regarding child protection concerns. More information is available on the Child Protection webpage.

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