Anti-Bullying Policy

Anti-Bullying Policy

Scoil San Phroinsias          Roll number 19795A

  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 Scoil San Phroinsias 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 (See Appendix 1) 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; involves collaboration among and between staff & pupils and promotes respectful relationships across the school community; encourages the work of the student council in this area
  • 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 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 ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.
  1. In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:

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

Isolated or once-off incidents do not fall within the definition of bullying and should 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.

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
  • 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.

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 and appears as Appendix 2 of this document.

  1. The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows:
  • The class teacher(s) initially
  • O’ Loughlin/M. Costello
  • The principal/deputy principal thereafter if necessary
  1. The following education and prevention strategies, at the appropriate and relevant level for each class, will be used by the school:
  • Prevention and awareness raising measures across all aspects of bullying and involves strategies to engage pupils in addressing problems when they arise. In particular, such strategies need to build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils
  • Provide pupils with opportunities to develop a positive sense of self-worth
  • Prevention and awareness raising measures focusing on cyber-bullying by educating pupils on appropriate online behaviour, how to stay safe while online
  • Ensuring that pupils know who to tell and how to tell, e.g.:
  • Direct approach to teacher at an appropriate time, for example after class.
  • Hand note up with homework.
  • Anti-bully or Worry box
  • Get a parent/guardian or friend to tell on your behalf.
  • Ensure bystanders understand the importance of telling if they witness or know that bullying is taking place.
  • A good system of supervision at breaktimes
  • There are a number of curriculum components and programmes which are particularly relevant to the prevention of bullying and the promotion of respect for diversity and inclusiveness
  • The SPHE curriculum, Zippy’s Friends, Friends for Life programmes make specific provision for exploring bullying as well as the inter-related areas of belonging and integrating, communication, conflict, friendship, personal safety and relationships
  • The Stay Safe & RSE programmes are personal safety skills programmes which seek to enhance children’s self-protection skills including their ability to recognise and cope with bullying
  • Various other social, health and media education programmes can further help to address the problem of bullying behaviour
  • The work could be extended into many other areas such as Art, Drama, Religious Education, and Physical Education. Co-operation and group enterprise can be promoted through team sports, school clubs and societies as well as through practical subjects. Sporting activities in particular can provide excellent opportunities for channelling and learning how to control aggression
  • Workshops with outside agencies such as School Completion Programme (SCP) and NEPS (educational psychologists) with groups of children
  • Specialist talks and workshops from outside agencies and Gardai for 5th & 6th classes.
  1. 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,

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). With this in mind the schools procedures are as follows:

(i) In investigating and dealing with bullying, the teacher(s) will exercise his/her/their professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred, what type if it has and how best the situation might be resolved
(ii) All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher(s). In that way, pupils will gain confidence in ‘telling’. This confidence factor is of vital importance. It should be made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying, they are not considered to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly
(iii) Non-teaching staff such as secretaries, special needs assistants (SNAs),  caretakers, lollipop lady, cleaners must be encouraged to report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher
(iv) Parents 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
(v) It is very important that all involved (including each set of pupils and parents) understand the above approach from the outset
(vi) Teachers should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach when dealing with incidents of alleged bullying behaviour reported by pupils, staff or parents
(vii) Initial investigations of bullying will be done in class where possible but some incidents might be best investigated outside the classroom situation to ensure the privacy of all involved
(viii) 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
(ix) When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant teacher(s) 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
(x) If a group is involved, each member should be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved could be met as a group, if appropriate. 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
(xi) Each member of a group should be supported through the possible pressures that they may face them from the other members of the group after interview by the teacher
(xii) Where the relevant teacher(s) has/have 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
(xiii) It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident(s)
(xiv) In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher(s) that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parents of the parties involved should be contacted at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken. The school should give parents an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school and the supports for their pupils
(xv) It must also be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parents) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his or her parents and the school;
(xvi) Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved may 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
(xvii) An additional follow-up meeting with parents of the children involved may take place after an appropriate time to ensure that the matter has been resolved satisfactorily
(xviii) Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parents must be referred, as appropriate, to the school’s complaints procedures
(xix) In the event that a parent has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.

RECORDING: Noting and reporting of bullying behaviour is to be documented using the template for recording bullying behaviour (Appendix 3). All records must be maintained in accordance with relevant data protection legislation. The school’s procedures for noting and reporting bullying behaviour will adhere to the following:

(i) While all reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher(s), the relevant teacher(s) will use his/her/their professional judgement in relation to the records to be kept of these reports, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding same
(ii) If it is established by the relevant teacher(s) that bullying has occurred, the relevant teacher(s) 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
(iii) The relevant teacher(s) must use the recording template at Appendix 3 to record the bullying behaviour which is available on the server/from the office.

  1. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying involves a whole school approach. Given the complexity of bullying behaviour, no one intervention/support programme works in all situations. Therefore various approaches and intervention strategies may be used including suggesting that parents seek referrals with appropriate outside agencies in order to receive further support for the pupils and their families if needed.
  2. 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.
  3. Prevention of Harassment: The BOM 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.
  4. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school blogsite (or where none exists, is otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists). A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.
  5. 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 blogsite (or where none exists, be otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) 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.
  6. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on ________________.

Signed:                                                                       Signed:

Chairperson BOM                                                   Principal

Date:

 

APPENDIX 1: Practical tips for building a positive school culture and climate

The following are some practical tips for immediate actions that can be taken to help build a positive school culture and climate and to help prevent and tackle bullying behaviour.

  • Model respectful behaviour to all members of the school community at all times
  • Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school
  • Display key respect messages in classrooms, in assembly areas and around the school. Involve pupils in the development of these messages
  • Catch them being good – notice and acknowledge desired respectful behaviour by providing positive attention
  • Consistently tackle the use of discriminatory and derogatory language in the school – this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of pupils with a disability or SEN
  • Give constructive feedback to pupils when respectful behaviour and respectful language are absent
  • Have a system of encouragement and rewards to promote desired behaviour and compliance with the school rules and routines
  • Explicitly teach pupils about the appropriate use of social media
  • Positively encourage pupils to comply with the school rules on mobile phone and internet use
  • Follow-up and follow through with pupils who ignore the rules
  • Actively involve parents and/or the Parents’ Association in awareness raising campaigns around social media
  • Actively promote the right of every member of the school community to be safe and secure in school
  • Highlight and explicitly teach school rules in pupil friendly language in the classroom and in common areas
  • All staff can actively watch out for signs of bullying behaviour
  • Ensure there is adequate playground/school yard/outdoor supervision
  • School staff can get pupils to help them to identify bullying ‘hot spots’ and ‘hot times’ for bullying in the school
    Hot spots tend to be in the playground/school yard/outdoor areas, changing rooms, corridors and other areas of unstructured supervision
    Hot times again tend to be times where there is less structured supervision such as when pupils are in the playground/school yard or moving classrooms.
  • Support the establishment and work of student councils

 

 

APPENDIX 2:  Types of bullying

The following are some of the types of bullying behaviour that can occur amongst pupils:

  • Physical aggression: This behaviour includes pushing, shoving, punching, kicking, poking and tripping people. It may also take the form of severe physical assault.  Pupils may not engage in ‘mess fights’ as they can sometimes be used as a disguise for physical harassment or inflicting pain
  • Intimidation: Some bullying behaviour takes the form of intimidation.  It may be based on the use of very aggressive body language with the voice being used as a weapon. Particularly upsetting can be a facial expression which conveys aggression and/or dislike.
  • Isolation/exclusion and other relational bullying: This occurs where a certain person is deliberately isolated, excluded or ignored by some or all of the class group. This practice is usually initiated by the person engaged in bullying behaviour and can be difficult to detect. It may be accompanied by writing insulting remarks about the pupil in public places, by passing around notes about or drawings of the pupil or by whispering insults about them loud enough to be heard. Relational bullying occurs when a person’s attempts to socialise and form relationships with peers are repeatedly rejected or undermined. One of the most common forms includes control: ‘Do this or I won’t be your friend anymore’(implied or stated), a group ganging up against one person (girl or boy), non-verbal gesturing, malicious gossip, spreading rumours about a person or giving them the ‘silent treatment’.
  • Cyber-bullying: This type of bullying is increasingly common and is continuously evolving. It is bullying carried out through the use of information and communication technologies such as text, social network sites, email, instant messaging (IM), apps, gaming sites, chat rooms and other online technologies. Being the target of inappropriate or hurtful messages is the most common form of online bullying. As cyber-bullying uses technology to perpetrate bullying behaviour and does not require face-to face-contact, cyber-bullying can occur at any time (day or night). Many forms of bullying can be facilitated through cyber-bullying. For example, a target may be sent homophobic text messages or pictures may be posted with negative comments about a person’s sexuality, appearance etc.
  • Name calling: Persistent name-calling directed at the same individual(s) that hurts, insults or humiliates should be regarded as a form of bullying behaviour. Often name calling of this type refers to physical appearance, e.g. size or clothes worn.  Accent or distinctive voice characteristics may attract negative attention. Academic ability can also provoke name calling. This tends to operate at two extremes. There are those who are singled out for attention because they are perceived to be weak academically. At the other extreme there are those who, because they are perceived as high achievers are also targeted
  • Damage to property: Personal property can be the focus of attention for bullying behaviour. This may result in damage to clothing, mobile phone or other devices, school books and other learning material or interference with a pupil’s property or bicycle. The contents of school bags and pencil cases may be scattered on the floor.  Items of personal property may be defaced, broken, stolen or hidden
  • Extortion: Demands for money may be made, often accompanied by threats (sometimes carried out in the event of the targeted pupil not delivering on the demand). A pupil may also be forced into theft of property for delivery to another who is engaged in bullying behaviour.

 

Appendix 3 Template for recording bullying behaviour  

 

  1. Name of pupil being bullied and class group

 

Name ______________________________Class__________________

 

  1. Name(s) and class(es) of pupil(s) engaged in bullying behaviour
_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

 

3. Source of bullying concern/report (tick relevant box(es))* 4. Location of incidents (tick relevant box(es))*
Pupil concerned Playground
Other Pupil Classroom
Parent Corridor
Teacher Toilets
Other School Bus
Other
  1. Name of person(s) who reported the bullying concern
 

 

 

  1. Type of Bullying Behaviour (tick relevant box(es)) *
Physical Aggression Cyber-bullying
Damage to Property Intimidation
Isolation/Exclusion Malicious Gossip
Name Calling Other (specify)

 

  1. Where behaviour is regarded as identity-based bullying, indicate the relevant category:

 

Homophobic Disability/SEN related Racist Membership of Traveller community Other (specify)

 

 

  1. Brief Description of bullying behaviour and its impact
 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Details of actions taken
 

 

 

 

 

 

Signed ______________________________ (Relevant Teacher)   Date ___________________________

 

Date submitted to Principal/Deputy Principal ___________________

* Note: The categories listed in the tables 3, 4 & 6 are suggested and schools may add to or amend these to suit their own circumstances.

 

 

 

Appendix 4 Checklist for annual review of the anti-bullying policy  and its implementation

The Board of Management (the Board) must undertake an annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation. The following checklist must be used for this purpose. The checklist is an aid to conducting this review and is not intended as an exhaustive list.  In order to complete the checklist, an examination and review involving both quantitative and qualitative analysis, as appropriate across the various elements of the implementation of the school’s anti-bullying policy will be required.

Yes /No

Has the Board formally adopted an anti-bullying policy that fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools?
Has the Board published the policy on the school website/blogsite and provided a copy to the parents’ association?
Has the Board ensured that the policy has been made available to school staff (including new staff)?
Is the Board satisfied that school staff are sufficiently familiar with the policy and procedures to enable them to effectively and consistently apply the policy and procedures in their day to day work?
Has the Board ensured that the policy has been adequately communicated to all pupils?

 

Has the policy documented the prevention and education strategies that the school applies?

 

Have all of the prevention and education strategies been implemented?

 

Has the effectiveness of the prevention and education strategies that have been implemented been examined?
Is the Board satisfied that all teachers are recording and dealing with incidents in accordance with the policy?
Has the Board received and minuted the periodic summary reports of the Principal?

 

Has the Board discussed how well the school is handling all reports of bullying including those addressed at an early stage and not therefore included in the Principal’s periodic report to the Board?
Has the Board received any complaints from parents regarding the school’s handling of bullying incidents?
Have any parents withdrawn their child from the school citing dissatisfaction with the school’s handling of a bullying situation?
Have any Ombudsman for Children investigations into the school’s handling of a bullying case been initiated or completed?
Has the data available from cases reported to the Principal (by the bullying recording template) been analysed to identify any issues, trends or patterns in bullying behaviour?
Has the Board identified any aspects of the school’s policy and/or its implementation that require further improvement?
Has the Board put in place an action plan to address any areas for improvement?

 

 

Signed _____________________________________                                Date ________________

Chairperson, Board of Management

 

Signed _____________________________________                  Date ________________

Principal

Notification regarding the Board of Management’s annual review of the anti-bullying policy

 

 

To: _____________________________________

 

The Board of Management of ____________________ wishes to inform you that:

 

 

  • The Board of Management’s annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation was completed at the Board meeting of _______________ [date].

 

  • This review was conducted in accordance with the checklist set out in Appendix 4 of the Department’s Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.

 

 

Signed ________________________________          Date ________________

Chairperson, Board of Management

 

Signed _____________________________                    Date ________________

Principal

Anti-bullying Pledge

We promise:

  • To be respectful and friendly to everyone we meet
  • To be welcoming and approachable to visitors of the school
  • To look out for each other, especially if someone seems lonely or upset
  • To accept people for who they are and celebrate our differences
  • To make sure everyone knows who they can talk to if they are worried about bullying
  • To keep this pledge in school and on the journey to and from school, where we live and in our community
  • To speak out and take action if we are worried that someone is being bullied
  • To use our Power For Good

 

Bullying in the Workplace

 

WHAT IS BULLYING?

Bullying in the workplace is repeated aggression, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person or persons.    Bullying is where there is aggression or cruelty, viciousness, intimidation or a need to humiliate or dominate the relationships.     Isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour, while to be condemned, should not be described as bullying.    In the workplace environment there can be conflicts and interpersonal difficulties.    Many of these are legitimate industrial relations difficulties which should be dealt with through the appropriate industrial relations channels.     Only aggressive behaviour which is systematic and ongoing should be regarded as bullying.

 

EFFECTS OF BULLYING

The effects of bullying on the person can be manifested by any or all of the following:-

  • Emotional effects (severe anxiety)
  • Cognitive (concentration) effects (making mistakes, having accidents)
  • Behavioural effects (smoking, excess drinking, overeating)
  • Physiological effects (contributing to raised blood pressure, heart disease)
  • Reduced resistance to infection, stomach and bowel problems
  • Skin problem

The most serious effects remain fear, anxiety and depression, which can (and have) led to suicide.    To these may be added severe loss of confidence and low self-esteem.     Bullying, like stress generally, has a detrimental effect on the organisation as a whole because people working in a climate of fear and resentment do not give of their best.     The effects on the organisation as a whole can include:

  • Increased absenteeism
  • Low motivation
  • Reduced productivity
  • Reduced efficiency
  • Hasty decision-making
  • Poor industrial relations

VULNERABLE GROUPS

Those perceived, in any way, as different are often targets for bullying.

These can include:-

 

  1. Older employees
  2. Low status employees
  3. Employees who are unduly shy, lack education or learning ability, have physical disability or sensory impairment, or are known to be unwilling to complain.
  4. Employees of a different gender or sexual orientation.
  5. Employees who are members of a trade union which is not accepted by management or which is perceived by colleagues as not being the right trade union to be in.
  6. Employees who show a willingness to challenge harassment,(which can lead to victimisation)
  7. Employees who choose not to be a member of a trade union and as a result suffer harassment by colleagues.
  8. Employees suffering from poor physical or mental health.
  9. Employees with very noticeable physical characteristics.
  10. Employees with religious or political belief not shared by their colleagues.
  11. Employees of a different race, ethnic origin, nationality, or skin colour.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF BULLYING

There are three broad areas of bullying:-

 

  • By supervisors
  • By individual workmates and
  • By group of workmates.

FORMS OF BULLYING

The form which any of these kinds of bullying may take are:-

 

  1. Physical contact.
  2. Verbal abuse.
  3. Implied threats.
  4. Jokes, offensive language, gossips, slander, offensive songs.
  5. Posters, photocopies cartoons, graffiti, obscene gestures, flags, bunting and emblems.
  6. Isolation or non co-operation or exclusion from social activities.
  7. Coercion for sexual favours.
  8. Intrusion by pestering, spying and stalking.
  9. Repeated requests giving impossible deadlines or impossible tasks.
  10. Repeated unreasonable assignments to duties, which are obviously unfavourable to one individual.
  11. Vandalism of personal property (destroying clothing, scratching paintwork on cars).
  12. Cyberbullying

MAKING A COMPLAINT

Any employee who feels that he or she is being bullied should ask the alleged perpetrator to stop.

Where this form of action is unsuccessful the employee may report the matter to the following:- the Principal, the Deputy-Principal, the Staff Representative or the Chairperson of the Board of Management.

Attempts should be made to resolve the matter informally with the alleged perpetrator, but if it is not possible to resolve the matter informally with the alleged perpetrator, but if it is not possible to resolve the matter informally the following complaints procedure shall apply: –

 

  1. A written report should be made by the complainant or an authorised person to whom the complaint is made and signed by the complainant.
  2. The complaint will be investigated with minimum delay as confidentially as possible. Due respect shall be had for the rights of the complainant and the alleged perpetrator of the bullying.
  3. Both parties may be accompanied/represented at all interviews/meetings held and these shall be recorded.
  4. Where a complaint is found to be substantiated, the extent and nature of the bullying will determine the form of the disciplinary action to be taken. These actions may include a verbal warning, a written warning or other sanctions  permitted under the Health and Safety Act 1989 and the Education Act 1998 and deemed appropriate by the Board of Management and the Patron.
  5. Where an employee is victimised as a result of invoking or participating in any aspect of the complaints procedure, including acting as a witness for another employee, such behaviour will also be subjected to disciplinary action.
  6. If the complaint is found to be valid, following a through and objective assessment of the evidence of both parties to the investigation process, prompt action will be taken under sanctions as listed in (d) above.
  7. It is the responsibility of the school authorities that complaints of bullying are investigated and dealt with by the authorities and not the complainant.
  8. Where disciplinary action is taken following a complaint and subsequent investigation, the alleged perpetrator retains the right of appeal under existing disciplinary procedures and the right of natural justice.
  9. No record of any complaint will be registered on an employee’s file unless the formal procedure outlined above has been invoked.

It is the opinion of the school that issues of this nature are best dealt with within the school.

However, no aspect of this policy affects any employee’s individual legal rights to take their complaint outside of the school.

Staff members subjected to bullying shall make a formal complaint to the Principal who will be responsible on behalf of management for investigation such complaints and recommending action.     Prior to the commencement of the formal investigation, the alleged perpetrator will be given a copy of the formal written complaint and advised that an investigation will ensue which may lead to disciplinary action.    Both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator will be advised of their right to be accompanied and/or represented by a person of their choice.

Where any staff members do not find it appropriate to report to the Principal as above, he/she may report to the Deputy-Principal or Chairperson of the Board of Management.

 

HOW WOULD YOU KNOW IF YOUR CHILD IS BEING BULLIED?

If your child is being bullied they may:-

 

  • Be unusually anxious, nervous or tense.
  • Have nightmares or eating problems.
  • Have unexplained bruises, scratches, etc., or come home regularly with books or clothes missing.
  • Constantly ask for or steal money (to pay a bully).
  • Begin to bully other children.
  • Be unwilling to go out to play at home or at school.
  • Be afraid of walking to or from school, or unwilling to go to school.
  • Begin to do poorly at school.
  • Become isolated in the school or playground.
  • Continuously make excuses to explain away any of the above.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU SUSPECT YOUR CHILD IS BEING BULLIED?

If you are worried that your child is being bullied, ask them what’s wrong.

It is not easy for children to tell about bullying so it is important to talk to your child and let them know that they can tell you if they have a problem.

Sometimes parents tell a child to “hit back” at the bully.    This can make matters worse.    Teaching children to be confident and to tell is better.

Teaching the child to say “no” in a good confident tone of voice and to carry themselves in a confident way will deter some bullies.   The child can practice this at home.    Children need to know that safety comes first.      In a situation where a gang attack the child they should just get away and tell.    Some children with disabilities will not be able to say no or to tell.   If your child has few or no words they may be able to let you know in some other way, for example through play, drawing, or body language.

Get friends to help.   Encourage your child to invite friends in to play or to go on family outings.

Children can be encouraged to join in activities where they will not come into contact with the bully.    Identify places where the bullying happens and take care that your child avoids those areas if possible.

If the bullying is taking place in school, talk to your child’s teacher.

If necessary the group dynamics will be broken up by assigning places.    Most bullying groups have a leader with other children being frightened of not bullying.    Peer pressure will be turned against bullying and groups broken up.