School Plans & Policies - Bullying Policy
Bullying is the overt use of power and can be a wilful conscious desire to hurt, threaten, intimidate or frighten. Bullying is generally ongoing. It can be physical and/or verbal in nature and can include racial, religious and sexual harassment, rude gestures, physiological intimidation and extortion. The use of mobile phones and email as a bullying tool is also unacceptable and will be included as part of this policy.
Compassion and Care: Each person has a right to receive care and compassion and have a life of dignity, free from harassment and discrimination.
Respect: Each person should respect those of different opinion, temperament or background.
Cooperation/Conflict resolution: Each person should strive to work cooperatively and to resolve conflict peacefully while respecting differences and valuing the other person.
Bullying will not be tolerated in this school. Children who are happy can achieve. Children who are unhappy cannot learn. It is everyone’s responsibility to prevent bullying from happening.
This school currently has a number of programs established to promote a caring and supportive environment. These educative and positive programs should ensure that bullying and violence are minimised. However, in the event that bullying occurs the school will react firmly and promptly. There is a range of sanctions against bullies available depending on the seriousness of the situation. Some of these include:
· Discussions with parents and students together
· Meetings/discussions with bullies and victims
· Referral to senior staff for further action
· Withdrawal of favoured activities
· Isolation from other students at school during lunch time
· Suspension/Exclusion from school
· Acknowledges that bullying is a feature of our society.
· Supports students who are being bullied by:-
i. Discussing bullying in role-play situations;
ii. Develop strategies of avoidance
iii. Placing bullies in victim’s position in role play;
iv. Improving the self esteem of victims through social skills programs;
v. Teaching more assertive responses to bullying incidents; and
vi. Develop programs to assist bullies work cooperatively with others rather than in a confrontational way.
· Take bullying seriously and find out the facts of any incident.
This will involve: -
i. Meeting those concerned individually – both bully and victim must write down an explanation of the event(s);
ii. Using peer group pressure to actively discourage bullying;
iii. Breaking up bully groups;
iv. Contacting parents/caregivers at an early stage; and
v. Helping victims develop positive strategies to combat bullying.
· Be pro-active with respect to bullying in a consistent way that allows for monitoring of such behaviour.
· Discusses appropriate standards of behaviour and school rules with all students.
· Uses Student Support services where necessary.
· Involves the police and other agencies as necessary
It is always a good idea to take an active interest in your child’s social life and chat about friends and their activities in and out of school. As well as keeping up to date with your child’s friendships you may well learn of disagreements or difficulties.
Watch for signs or stress/or distress in your children. These signs of stress/distress are numerous and may include:
· An unwillingness to attend school,
· Onset of headaches,
· Stomach aches or bruising,
· Toys or equipment going missing,
· Requests for extra pocket money, and
· Damaged clothing or books.
· Bed wetting (unconscious sign)
There are many reasons why your child may be unsettled at school, bullying is always a possibility.
If you suspect your child is being bullied, inform the school immediately and request an interview with the principal or a member of staff who can deal with your concern. The school will assist in devising strategies to provide your child with support both inside and outside the school.
If you suspect that your child is a bully, it is recommended that you contact the school immediately and arrange for a discussion with the principal or member of staff who can deal with your concern. The school can assist in devising strategies to change the bullying behaviour.
Keep a written record of all bullying incidents including details such as who, what, when and where.
In the cases of physical violence do not encourage your child to hit back. It could make matters worse.
Students: If you are being bullied:-
· Try not to show that you are upset as this increases bullying behaviour. However this is difficult.
· Try to ignore the bullying.
· Walk away quickly and confidently – even if you don’t feel that way inside.
· Try being assertive – speak firmly.
· Get your friends together and say “no” to the bully.
· If you are different in any way, be proud of it – it’s good to be an individual.
· Avoid being alone in places where bullying happens.
· Discuss the problem with a member of school staff as soon as possible.
· Discuss the problem with your parents/guardian.
· Discuss the problem with your friends.
Ways you can help stop bullying:-
· Don’t stand by and watch – get help
· Show that you and your friends disapprove.
· Give sympathy and support to students who may be bullied.
· Be careful about teasing or personal remarks – imagine how you might feel.
· If you know of bullying, tell a trusted member of staff. The victim may be too scared or lonely to tell.
· Look out for bullying and report it using the bully report forms from your class or the office.
· Be fair to all students
· Be ready to listen to all students
· Encourage students to look out for bullying and report it.
· Have a bullying sheet made up so students can write down what is happening confidentially
· Help children understand what it is and how it hurts, how victims feel
· Be vigilant in the playground for both victims and bullies
· Watch out for signs of bullying. Be proactive.
· Buddy up with another class for peer support, “look out for each other.”
· “Open forum” discussions of any incidents in role-playing situations in class.
· Build self-esteem of all class members – let everyone know that they are valued.
· Teach/discuss/develop strategies with the class for
a) victim response
b) On-looker response to bullying
· Promote idea that if you allow this to happen (just stand by and watch) you are as bad as the bully
· Define what is considered bullying by the class so that everyone is clear what is being expected of them.