Anti Bullying Pol...

  • CBS Primary School, Wexford

Anti Bullying Policy

C.B.S. Primary School Wexford

Anti-bullying Policy

 

1. In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the Code of Behaviour Guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of C.B.S. Primary School has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall Code of Behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013.

 

2. The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:

A positive school culture and climate which-

- is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;

- encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non- threatening environment; and

- promotes respectful relationships across the school community;

Effective leadership;

A school-wide approach;

A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact;

Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that-

build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and

explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying.

Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;

Supports for staff;

Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and

On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.

3. In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:

Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.

The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:

deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,

cyber-bullying and

identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.

Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and will be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.

Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

Additional information on different types of bullying is set out in Section 2 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools

 

Examples of bullying behaviours

General behaviours which apply to all types of bullying

Harassment based on any of the nine grounds in the equality legislation e.g. sexual harassment, homophobic bullying, racist bullying etc.

Physical aggression

Damage to property

Name calling

Slagging

The production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other materials aimed at intimidating another person

Offensive graffiti

Extortion

Intimidation

Insulting or offensive gestures

The “look”

Invasion of personal space

A combination of any of the types listed.

 

 

Cyber

Denigration: Spreading rumors, lies or gossip to hurt a person’s reputation

Harassment: Continually sending vicious, mean or disturbing messages to an individual

Impersonation: Posting offensive or aggressive messages under another person’s name

Flaming: Using inflammatory or vulgar words to provoke an online fight

Trickery: Fooling someone into sharing personal information which you then post online

Outing: Posting or sharing confidential or compromising information or images

Exclusion: Purposefully excluding someone from an online group

Cyber stalking: Ongoing harassment and denigration that causes a person considerable fear for his/her safety

Silent telephone/mobile phone call

Abusive telephone/mobile phone calls

Abusive text messages

Abusive email

Abusive communication on social networks e.g. Facebook/Ask.fm/ Twitter/You Tube or on games consoles

Abusive website comments/Blogs/Pictures

Abusive posts on any form of communication technology

Identity Based Behaviours

Including any of the nine discriminatory grounds mentioned in Equality Legislation (gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community).

 

Homophobic and Transgender

Spreading rumours about a person’s sexual orientation

Taunting a person of a different sexual orientation

Name calling, used in a derogatory manner

Physical intimidation or attacks

Threats

 

Race, nationality, ethnic background and membership of the Traveller community

Discrimination, prejudice, comments or insults about colour, nationality, culture, social class, religious beliefs, ethnic or traveller background

Exclusion on the basis of any of the above

 

Relational

This involves manipulating relationships as a means of bullying. Behaviours include:

Malicious gossip

Isolation & exclusion

Ignoring

Excluding from the group

Taking someone’s friends away

Spreading rumours

Breaking confidence

Talking loud enough so that the victim can hear

The “look”

Use or terminology such as ‘nerd’ in a derogatory way

Sexual Unwelcome or inappropriate sexual comments or touching

Harassment

 

Special Educational Needs,

Disability Name calling

Taunting others because of their disability or learning needs

Taking advantage of some pupils’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to recognise and defend themselves against bullying

Taking advantage of some pupils’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to understand social situations and social cues.

Mimicking a person’s disability

Setting others up for ridicule

 

 

 

4. In our school, any member of the teaching staff, who has responsibility for investigating and dealing with bullying, is referred to as the “relevant teacher”.

 

5. The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber- bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying) that will be used by the school are as follows:

The school’s Code of Behaviour expresses the kinds of behaviour and relationships that will create a positive environment for teaching and learning.

Through a programme of positive action, co-operative learning and teamwork the school promotes an atmosphere of friendship, respect and tolerance.

Anti-bullying issues may also be raised through the religion programme and the wider curriculum.

Positive self-esteem is fostered among pupils by celebrating individual differences and achievements, by acknowledging and rewarding good behaviour and by providing opportunities for success.

Pupils are encouraged to report incidents of bullying and they learn that, by doing so, they are behaving responsibly and are not considered to be telling tales. Pupils are made aware of who and how to tell.

Pupils are helped to understand that there are no innocent bystanders and that all incidents of bullying behaviour must be reported to a member of staff.

All disclosed incidents of bullying are investigated.

Teachers respond sensitively to those who disclose incidents of bullying.

Teachers will use Webwise to alert the children to cyber bullying.

The school’s Anti-bullying Policy is discussed with the pupils.

The parents of all new pupils receive a copy of the Anti-bullying Policy along with the school’s Code of Behaviour.

Teachers and pupils work together to devise class rules.

There is consistent, firm and fair implementation of school and class rules.

Parents are encouraged to support the schools policy on bullying by encouraging positive behaviour both at home and at school, by being vigilant for signs and symptoms of their child being bullied or is bullying others, by communicating concerns to the school.

There is adequate supervision in the school yard and on wet days, in the classrooms. Non-teaching and ancillary staff members are encouraged to be vigilant and report issues to relevant teachers. Supervision will also apply to monitoring pupil use of communication technology within the school.

There is full implementation of the SPHE, Stay Safe and RSE programmes in the school.

Other policies relevant to the school’s Anti-bullying Policy are the Code of Behaviour, Child Protection and Acceptable Usage policies.

 

6. The school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are as follows: (see Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools)

 

The primary aim in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame).

 

The school’s procedures will be consistent with the following approach.

Every effort will be made to ensure that all involved (including pupils, parent(s)/guardian(s)) understand this approach from the outset.

 

Reporting bullying behaviour

Any pupil or parent/guardian may bring a bullying incident to any teacher in the school.

All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying, will be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher.

Teaching and non-teaching staff must report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher.

 

Investigating and dealing with incidents

In investigating and dealing with bullying, the relevant teacher will exercise his/her professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved;

Parents/guardians and pupils are required to co-operate with any investigation and assist the school in resolving any issues and restoring, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved as quickly as possible;

Teachers should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach.

Where possible incidents should be investigated outside the classroom situation to ensure the privacy of all involved;

All interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned. Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful information in this way;

When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant teacher should seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why. This should be done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-aggressive manner;

If a group is involved, each member should be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved should be met as a group. At the group meeting, each member should be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statements;

Each member of a group should be supported through the possible pressures that may face them from the other members of the group after the interview by the teacher;

It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident(s)

In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the parties involved should be contacted at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken (by reference to the school policy). The school should give parent(s)/guardian(s) an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school and the supports provided to the pupils;

Where the relevant teacher has determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him/her how he/she is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him/her to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied;

It must also be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parent(s)/guardian(s)) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) and the school;

 

 

Follow up and recording

In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed the relevant teacher must, as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following factors into account:

- Whether the bullying behaviour has ceased;

- Whether any issues between the parties have been resolved as far as is practicable;

-Whether the relationships between the parties have been restored as far as is practicable;

-Any feedback received from the parties involved, their parent(s)/guardian(s) or the school Principal or Deputy Principal

Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved should be arranged separately with a view to possibly bringing them together at a later date if the pupil who has been bullied is ready and agreeable.

Where a parent(s)/guardian(s) is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parent(s)/guardian(s) must be referred, as appropriate, to the school’s complaints procedures.

In the event that a parent(s)/guardian(s) has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parent(s)/guardian(s) of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.

 

Recording of bullying behaviour

It is imperative that all recording of bullying incidents must be done in an objective and factual manner.

The school’s procedures for noting and reporting bullying behaviour are as follows:

Informal- pre-determination that bullying has occurred

All incidents must be reported to the relevant teacher who will keep a written record of same. Written records will be recorded in the class incident book.

While all reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher, the relevant teacher must keep a written record of the reports, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding same.

The relevant teacher must inform the principal of all incidents being investigated.

 

Formal Stage 1-determination that bullying has occurred

If it is established by the relevant teacher that bullying has occurred, the relevant teacher must keep appropriate written records which will assist his/her efforts to resolve the issues and restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved.

The class incident books will be stored in the principal’s office.

 

Formal Stage 2-Record of Bullying Behaviour

The relevant teacher will use the Record of Bullying Behaviour in the following circumstances:

a) in cases where he/she considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour occurred; and

b) Where the school has decided as part of its anti-bullying policy that in certain circumstances bullying behaviour must be recorded and reported immediately to the Principal or Deputy Principal as applicable.

When the recording template is used, it must be retained by the relevant teacher in question and a copy maintained by the principal.

 

The following intervention strategies may be employed:

Teacher interviews with all pupils

Negotiating agreements between pupils and following these up by monitoring progress. This can be on an informal basis or implemented through a more structured mediation process

Working with parent(s)/guardian(s)s to support school interventions

No Blame Approach

Circle Time

Restorative Practices

Sanctions as outlined in the school’s Code of Behaviour

 

7. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows:

All in-school supports and opportunities will be provided for the pupils affected by bullying to participate in activities designed to raise their self-esteem, to develop friendships and social skills and build resilience e.g.

- Pastoral care system

- Buddy system

- Group work such as circle time

If pupils require counselling or further supports the school will endeavour to liaise with the appropriate agencies to organise same. This may be for any pupil affected by bullying or involved in the bullying behaviour.

8. Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils

The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible.

 

9. Prevention of Harassment

The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the sexual harassment of pupils or staff or the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.

 

10. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on 11th April 2014.

 

11. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents’ Association. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department of Education and the patron if requested.

 

12. This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year. Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents’ Association. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department of Education and Skills. The policy will be reviewed in April 2015.