Anti Bullying Policy
Anti Bullying Policy
The following is agreed as a definition of bullying:
“Deliberately hurtful, aggressive actions (that could be physical or mental) to which a student or group of students is exposed. These actions could be repeated often over a period of time, by one student or a group. It is often difficult for the victim to defend him/herself.”
Aims of this policy:
Reasons for having an Anti-Bullying Policy:
- Bullying makes pupils unhappy
- Pupils who are being bullied are unlikely to concentrate fully on their schoolwork
- Some pupils refuse to go to school in order to avoid being bullied
- Pupils who observe unchallenged bullying are likely to copy this anti-social behaviour
This policy aims to:
- Prevent or reduce incidents of bullying
- Provide a clearly defined framework for dealing with victims and perpetrators of incidents of bullying if and when they occur
- Ensure that this framework is understood and trusted by students, parents and staff.
The implementation of this policy will lead to:
- Provide a happy and caring environment in which to learn and work where each member of the school community is personally valued and where pupils are able to develop self-respect and self- control
- Make it easier for pupils to work together and participate fully in the life of the school and the community
- Help pupils acquire attitudes and physical and social skills that they can refer to in their adult and working life and to be able to adapt confidently to a changing society
- Encourage moral and ethical values
- Engender respect for and tolerance of others – regardless of differences of race, gender, culture or religion
Characteristics of bullying
There are three main types of bullying:
1.Physical: hitting, kicking, taking belongings, destroying items.
2.Verbal: name calling, insulting, making offensive remarks.
3.Indirect: spreading nasty stories about someone, exclusion from peer groups, being made the subject of malicious rumours, sending malicious e mails, threats or phone messages.
Who is involved in bullying?
Usually, boys are bullied by boys. Girls are bullied by girls and boys. Some bullies have been bullied themselves. Some pupils are bullies and victims. Some are individual bullies, others take part in
group bullying. In some instances girls may also bully boys.
Although any child can be involved in bullying, there are some characteristics to be taken into account:
- They can be any type of student
- Bullies are interested in overpowering others, enjoy power, and feel entitled to recognition, privilege and special treatment
- They have strong personalities, and like to dominate and be in charge
- Bullies have an inflated self-image
- They lack compassion and empathy for others
- They lack guilt for their own actions
- They believe it is OK to treat others this way, thinking the victim did something that deserves this treatment
- Bullies have difficulty in accepting differences
- They have impulsive behaviour
- They avoid adults and do things away from adult eyes
- A bully is verbally convincing
- A bully likes to control others in a subtle way
- A bully thinks it is acceptable to be abusive in order to get whatever he or she wants.
- Bullies project their problems and faults onto others
The victims can be:
- Lacking close friends in school
- From an over protective family environment
- Physically or psychological disadvantaged
- Have special educational needs
- Behave inappropriately, intrudingly or be a nuisance
- Behave passively or submissively
When and where can bullying take place?
Bullying can take place inside the school. It can occur during break time, in the play ground, in the classroom, on the way to the classroom, in the bathroom, anywhere within the school premises. It can also happen outside of school, during the journey to or from school and anywhere else outside the school.
Curriculum input and awareness-raising
It is very important that we maintain a culture of ‘awareness’ of bullying, its nature and its impact on the school and the people in it. To this end, pupils should be made aware of bullying through the curriculum. One of the best ways in which this can take place is during tutorial time where form teacher and pupils get together to discuss different topics.
Activities such as cooperative games, problem solving activities, discussion groups, role play and simulations, listening to stories/watching videos can be used to work with the students.
Different areas of the curriculum such as: PSE, Drama, Spanish, English, Science, etc. can also be used to work on bullying
In addition to these elements the morning school assembly programme could contain contributions by pupils and staff, which illustrate the types of bullying and some possible solutions to problems.
OUR PROCEDURE FOR DEALING WITH CASES OF BULLYING
- If a pupil thinks he/she is being bullied he or she should tell a trusted adult about the incidents he/she has been subjected to. The adult should then speak to the Headmaster. Information given should be treated as strictly confidential.
- The Headmaster will speak to the pupils involved in the incidents in order to clarify the essence of the bullying, identify the situation, find the cause, and make agreements about the future.
- If it is an agreed case of bullying, the incident is recorded in a special register. The first recorded incident should not include any sanctions. After identifying the bullying situation, the guilty student should be given a warning of what could be happen if the behaviour continues.
- A date is set when the students involved meet with the Headmaster to review the situation.
- The class teacher is informed of the situation.
- The class teacher works with the children within tutorial or other group activity.
- If there is a second case of bullying, the incident is again recorded in the register and the parents of the student(s) involved are called in to inform them of the situation and to discuss strategies for preventing further problems.
- In the case of further incidents, a record is again made in the register and a sanction may be applied. Depending on the incident, the Headmaster and house masters will evaluate the case and decide on appropriate sanctions. Measures taken may include suspension or more serious measures.
Throughout these procedures there will be appropriate ongoing intervention on the part of tutors and/or educational psychologist and/or senior management with the victims and perpetrators in order to prevent further incidents.
Five key points for teachers:
- Never ignore bullying
- Don’t make premature assumptions
- Listen carefully to all accounts – several pupils saying the same does not necessarily mean they are telling the truth
- Adopt a problem-solving approach which moves pupils on from justifying themselves
- Follow-up repeatedly checking bullying has not resumed
Helping the victims of bullying
Victims of bullying can be helped by building their self-esteem and empowering them to feel that they can do something about the situation. Maintaining whole school awareness of the issue in the manner described above will help them with this. Victims also need close support of teachers and their peers. A mentoring system would assist with this.
The main message that should be sent to victims is summarized by the quotation below:
“Bullying is wrong. If you are being bullied it can make you feel upset and lonely. Maybe you are frightened and you don’t want to tell anyone because you are scared of what will happen to you. But you must tell someone, it won’t stop unless you do. Tell a friend, tell a teacher, tell your parents, tell someone….