ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

 

Presentation College, Bray

Anti-Bullying Policy 2014

Introduction

This policy was drafted through collaboration between Management, Staff, Parents and Students.

Mission Statement

Presentation College is a Catholic Boys’ School. The staff, students and parents of Presentation College, Bray, seek to promote a safe, caring environment and a well-balanced student-centred curriculum which encourages self-reliance, respect and responsibility.

Parents are recognised as the primary educators while teachers nurture and develop student learning. In partnership, we hope to enable all students to leave school with the skills necessary to participate fully in society and to live independent and fulfilled lives.

PBST Mission Statement

We are committed to working together to make Christ’s Gospel of love known and relevant to each succeeding generation.

Our educational tradition draws on the Gospel values of love, justice, freedom, mutual respect and hope. It is both a vision and a tradition which sees education as the key growth and transformation in the context of the search for meaning, happiness and the common good. This tradition honours Mary, the mother of Jesus, Our Lady of the Presentation, as our model in faith and in living the teaching of Jesus and of His Church.

Scope

This policy applies to incidents of bullying occurring:

  • During school hours (including break times) within the school grounds, both within and outside the school building.
  • During an individual’s journey to and from school.
  • During school tours and trips.
  • During extra-curricular activities.
  • During inter-school activities.

The school reserves the right to apply this anti-bullying policy in respect of bullying that occurs at a location, activity, function or program that is not school related if, in the opinion of the Principal and/or Board of Management, the alleged bullying has created a hostile environment at school for the victim, has infringed on the rights of the victim at the school and/or has materially or substantially disrupted the education process or the orderly operation of the school.

Links to other policies.

Code of Behaviour

Child Protection Guidelines

Equality

Internet/I.T.

Health and Safety

Pastoral Care

Sports

School Tours

Student Council

Professional Code of Conduct for Teachers

School Attendance and Participation

Special Educational Needs

R.S.E.

Supervision and Substitution Policy Guidelines

_________________________________________________________________________________

  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 Presentation College, Bray 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:
  3. 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;
  4. Effective leadership;
  5. A school-wide approach;
  6. A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact;
  7. 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.
  1. Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;
  2. Supports for staff;
  3. Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use

of established intervention strategies); and

  1. On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.
  2. In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools (September 2013) 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.

(see also Appendix 2 and 3)

The following types of bullying 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.

Special consideration need to be given to students with Special Educational Needs (SEN). Because of difficulty with social interactions, intellectual impairments, communication deficits, and the inability to read social cues, individuals with special educational needs (SEN) have higher rates of peer rejection and higher frequencies of verbal and physical attacks.

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.

Note:

Bullying via mobile telephones may be deemed to be illegal in the Republic of Ireland,

according to provisions made under the Post Office (Amendment) Act of 1951.

Section 13 (Offences in Connection with Telephones), Section 1 of this Act deems it an offence if any person:

(a) ‘sends any message by telephone which is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character;

(b) ‘sends any message by telephone which he knows to be false, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, or needless anxiety to any other person; [or]

(c) ‘persistently makes telephone calls without reasonable cause and for any such purpose as aforesaid. (Office of the Attorney General, 2009).

Negative behaviour that does not meet the 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 Appendix 2

  1. The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows:
    • The appropriate Year Head(s) of the student(s) engaging in the bullying behaviour and the victim(s) of such behaviour;
    • Other teachers who may assist the above.
  2. 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:
  3. The Board of Management of Presentation College Bray will:
  4. adopt and implement an anti-bullying policy that fully complies with the requirements of

the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools (September 2013);

  1. commit to the key principles of best practice for preventing and tackling bullying: – as in

Point 2 above;

  1. ensure that the anti-bullying policy is regularly highlighted, promoted and reviewed on a

school-wide basis;

  1. review any bullying cases at each B.O.M. meeting.

5.A.b The Management of Presentation College Bray, in conjunction with the Board of Management, should:

  1. ensure that pupils, parents and staff members are made aware that Year Heads are the

relevant teachers responsible for dealing with bullying concerns;

  1. ensure that school rules and other information on bullying are provided in pupil friendly,

age appropriate formats and displayed around the school buildings, (e.g. Anti-Bullying

Charter)

  1. promote a positive school culture;
  2. strive to engender an ethos of zero acceptance of bullying;
  3. involve both staff and pupils in developing and implementing a vision of the school where diversity is accepted and celebrated.
  4. be good role models – be firm, fair and consistent in disciplinary measures (restorative practice/justice).
  5. promote relevant home/school/community links, to counter bullying behaviour, e.g. bus companies, Parents’ Association, local sports clubs, local shops, etc.
  6. promote the use of the school website to communicate with various groups.
  7. seek the assistance of other local persons and formal agencies such as NEPS, HSE, Social Workers, An Garda Síochána, etc. where necessary.
  8. ensure that all relevant members of the school community have a shared understanding of what constitutes bullying behaviour. Measures to ensure this understanding will include staff CPD, information talks/workshops for the Parents’ Association AGM, curricular work, extra-curricular work and visual reminders for students.
  9. ensure that all staff members are informed of any student with special educational needs.
  10. provide students, through curricular and extra-curricular programmes, with opportunities to develop a positive sense of self-worth, e.g. through sports, debating, CSPE and SPHE programmes, etc.
  11. promote Transition Year as an opportunity whereby students can engage in personal development initiatives, explore their own personal strengths and progress in the areas of confidence, independence and maturity.
  12. deal appropriately and expeditiously with the issue of identity-based bullying – especially homophobic and transphobic bullying.
  13. highlight LGBTI issues through posters, discussions with parents, information sessions for parents, facilitating student representation at workshops and youth forums on homophobic and transphobic issues, organise LGBTI awareness events and advertise them on the school planner, etc.
  14. promote the anti-bullying components of SPHE programmes.
  15. emphasise issues of bullying during the annual “Spirit of Pres. Week”.
  16. involve students in creating posters and visual displays for the electronic noticeboard.
  17. focus on educating students on “netiquette” – appropriate on-line behaviour, how to stay safe while on-line, and on developing a culture of reporting in relation to any concerns about cyber-bullying.
  18. organise information evenings for parents on internet safety.
  19. involve the student councils in being ambassadors in the school.
  20. adapt and utilise the material available through Sean Fallon’s anti-bullying programme.
  21. take particular account of the needs of students with Special Educational Needs.
  22. ensure that all members of the school community understand what bullying is and how the school deals with bullying behaviour.
  23. have regular staff days (or part thereof) on the subject of bullying and an awareness day for pupils and parents.
  24. regularly feature anti-bullying reports on staff meeting agendas.
  25. ensure proper systems of supervision are in place. “Hot spots” and “hot times” should be identified in collaboration with students, student councils, prefects, teaching and non-teaching staff, etc.
  26. ensure that all members of the school community have sufficient familiarity with the school’s anti-bullying policy.
  27. enable staff to recognise bullying, implement effective strategies for preventing bullying and, where appropriate, intervene effectively in bullying cases.
  28. ensure that all temporary and substitute staff have sufficient awareness of the school’s anti-bullying policy.
  29. inform parents of the role they have to play in education, awareness and prevention of bullying.
  30. Parents/Guardians should:
  31. familiarise themselves with the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy and Charter.
  32. discuss the policy and charter with their son before they or their son sign it.
  33. support the school’s Anti-Bullying stance.
  34. attend/participate in any Anti-Bullying events organised by the school (e.g. awareness evenings).
  35. inform the school of any high risk factors in relation to their son, e.g. Special Educational Needs, previous history of bullying/being bullied, etc.
  36. become familiar with the school’s procedures for reporting and investigating allegations of bullying.
  37. support the school’s procedures in investigating and dealing with bullying.
  38. pass on information in relation to incidents of bullying whether it is about their son or not.
  39. support their son whether he is the bully or the victim – there is no shame in being bullied.
  40. encourage their son to report any incidents of bullying.
  41. talk about bullying before it happens. Have conversations about bullying at home – even if their son is not engaging in or affected by bullying behaviour.
  42. be aware of the importance of leading by example and being a model of respect and tolerance of others.
  43. strive to have a supportive and positive relationship with their son in which he feels valued and listened to in a non-judgemental and positive manner so that he will be comfortable discussing issues of bullying.
  44. explicitly show disapproval of all forms of bullying.
  45. promote good social skills, especially empathy, good moral reasoning, a sturdy self-esteem and resilience.
  46. encourage their son to do the following if he witnesses or is aware of another person being bullied:
    • Support the victim
    • Report the behaviour
    • Don’t join in with the bullying.
  47. be aware that their son can be both bullied and bully others.
  48. take non-aggressive action when they suspect their son is being targeted or is targeting someone else in a hurtful manner.
  49. if their son is being bullied – don’t over-react. Instead, discuss ways of dealing with bullying, contact the school and access any relevant services.
  50. if their son is bullying – stress their disapproval and talk about how hurtful and damaging it can be for the victim.
  51. in relation to cyber-bullying, parents should:
    • inform themselves about safer use of the internet, mobile phones and other electronic devices. Websites such as www.webwise.ie can be useful in this regard.
    • set boundaries for internet use and technology.
    • discuss how these can be used in a negative way to bully.
    • stress that in accessing their son’s online activity, they want to keep their son safe, not pry into his life.
    • know how to contact mobile and internet service providers.
    • educate their son on how to report a problem, secure his privacy settings or block the sender of abusive messages or images.
    • inform themselves of signs of cyber bullying, especially:
      • Becoming withdrawn, moody or depressed;
      • Being visibly upset or angry when online or reading a text.
  52. Teachers should:
  53. participate in any CPD courses provided by the school management.
  54. respond and react promptly to all forms of bullying.
  55. report any incidents of bullying or bullying related issues to the relevant Year Head.
  56. encourage more senior students to mentor new or younger students to help them settle into Presentation College.
  57. be aware of any students in their classes with special educational needs. Be mindful that they may need help to develop skills such as: sharing, taking turns, thinking before acting, social skills.
  58. support any Anti-bullying workshops, activities, etc. including those organised as part of “Spirit of Pres.” week.
  59. support and promote the school’s Anti-bullying Policy where the content of their subject area would lend itself to doing so.
  60. be aware of and report bullying that may occur in their classroom in the form of “put-downs”, body language, class atmosphere and comments.
  61. monitor student behaviour at high risk times – beginning and end of the school day, break times, during class, between classes, on corridors, at lockers, etc.
  62. monitor student behaviour at high risk locations – on corridors, at lockers, at the sports’ pavilion, at changing rooms, behind school buildings, etc.
  63. be alert to the fact that bullying can take place directly in front of you.
  64. emphasise the dangers of cyber-bullying and how easy it is to get involved in it.
  65. try to improve student knowledge about cyber safety.
  66. develop rules on “netiquette” with a focus on what is appropriate, acceptable on-line behaviour.
  67. try to develop the students’ digital skills in order for them to stay safe on-line.
  68. be aware of potential cyber-bullying from technology within the school.
  69. Students should:
  70. familiarise themselves with the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy and Charter and Code of Behaviour before they sign it.
  71. support the school’s Anti-Bullying stance.
  72. attend/participate in any Anti-Bullying events organised by the school (e.g. awareness workshops).
  73. treat every other student and staff member in the school community with respect and courtesy.
  74. value each person’s individuality.
  75. strive to enhance the happiness and security of other members of the school community.
  76. be aware of any inappropriate behaviour including the deliberate isolation of another student.
  77. report any incidents of bullying behaviour (including cyber-bullying) they are witness to, have knowledge of or are involved in, to the relevant Year Head or any other trusted adult. In reporting incidents of bullying, students are not considered to be telling tales, but are behaving responsibly.
  78. co-operate with and, where necessary, participate in the activities organised during “Spirit of Pres.” week.
  79. participate in the creation and promotion of Anti-Bullying posters, etc.
  80. get involved in mentoring new or more junior students.
  81. try to improve their knowledge about cyber safety.
  82. develop their students’ digital skills in order for them to stay safe on-line.
  83. practice “netiquette” with a focus on what is appropriate, acceptable on-line behaviour.
  84. be aware of the long-term consequences of their on-line behaviour.
  85. familiarise themselves with the signs of bullying and inform someone if they think another student is being bullied.
  86. Students who experience bulling should use the CALM approach:
    • Breathe deeply
    • Count to ten several times
    • Repeat a message to myself 5 times
    • Relax
    • Calm facial expression
    • Report the incident to my Year Head or another trusted adult as soon as possible.
  87. The procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established strategies used by Presentation College, Bray are as follows:
  88. All reports, including anonymous reports will be investigated and dealt with by the relevant Year Head.
  89. The primary aim for the Year Head 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.
  90. Students are encouraged to report incidents of bullying, ideally to their Year Head, but otherwise to any trusted member of staff. Where the latter happens, the person who receives the report will pass the information on to the relevant Year Head.
  91. If a parent reports an incident of bullying the above procedures will also apply.
  92. In investigating and dealing with bullying, the relevant Year Head will exercise his/her professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved.
  93. Parents and students 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.
  94. The Year Head will initiate the investigation into the reported incident. Depending on the nature of the case, s/he may involve the Principal/Deputy Principal. Either way, the Principal/Deputy Principal will be kept informed.
  95. The relevant Year Head should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach when dealing with incidents of alleged bullying behaviour reported by students, staff or parents.
  96. Any strategies used to investigate the reported incident will depend on the wishes of the victim and the degree of exposure he is comfortable with.
  97. While the relevant Year Head may gather anonymous information in a class situation, the matter will not be investigated or openly discussed in a class setting.
  98. When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant Year Head will seek answers to the questions of what, where, when, who, and why. This will be recorded on a standard form.
  99. If a group is involved, each member of the group will be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, where appropriate, all those involved may be met as a group.
  100. Those involved will be asked to write down their account of the incident(s).
  101. The relevant Year Head will use his/her professional judgement to decide if, and at what stage, the parents of the parties involved should be informed. In some cases, the student(s) will be given a chance to reform on their own. Where the parents are informed, they should take the opportunity to discuss ways in which they can reinforce and support the actions being taken by the school.
  102. Where the relevant Year Head has determined that a student has engaged in bullying behaviour, it will be made clear to him how he is in breach of the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy and efforts will be made to try to get him to see the situation from the perspective of the student being bullied.
  103. It will be made clear to all involved (students and parents alike) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the student being disciplined, his parents and the school.
  104. Follow-up meetings with the relevant students involved will be arranged separately with a view to possibly bringing them together at a later date if the student who has been bullied is ready and agreeable. This will never be forced on students.
  105. In cases where the relevant Year Head considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, it will be recorded by the relevant Year Head in the recording template.
  106. In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed the relevant Year Head must, as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following factors into consideration:
    • Whether the bullying 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; and
    • Any feedback received from the parties involved, their parents or the school Principal or Deputy Principal;
  107. Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parents will be referred, as appropriate, to the school’s complaints procedures;
  108. In the event that a parent has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school will advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.
  109. At least once per school term, the Principal will provide a report to the Board of Management setting out:
    • the overall number of bullying cases reported (by means of the bullying recording template) to the Principal or Deputy Principal since the previous report to the Board; and
    • confirmation that all of these cases have been, or are being, dealt with in accordance with the school’s anti-bullying policy and procedures.

Procedures for recording bullying behaviour

All records will be maintained in accordance with relevant data protection legislation. The school’s procedures for noting and reporting bullying behaviour will adhere to the following:

  1. While all reports, including anonymous reports of bullying will be investigated and dealt with by the relevant Year Head, he/she will use his/her professional judgement in relation to the records to be kept of these reports, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding same;
  2. If it is established by the relevant Year Head that bullying has occurred, he/she will 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.
  3. The relevant Year Head will use the official recording template to record the bullying behaviour in the following circumstances:
  4. 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
  5. in certain circumstances where the relevant Year Head has decided that the bullying behaviour must be recorded and reported immediately to the Principal or Deputy Principal as applicable.
  6. In each of the circumstances at (a) and (b) above, the standard recording template will be completed in full and retained by the Year Head in question and a copy provided to the Principal or Deputy Principal as applicable. It should also be noted that the timeline for recording bullying behaviour in the standard recording template does not in any way preclude the relevant teacher from consulting the Principal or Deputy Principal at an earlier stage in relation to a case.

Bullying as part of a continuum of behaviour

It is also important to note that bullying behaviour can be part of a continuum of behaviour rather than a stand-alone issue and in some cases behaviour may escalate beyond that which can be described as bullying to serious physical or sexual assault or harassment. To ensure that any such cases are dealt with appropriately, the anti-bullying policy is linked with the overall code of behaviour and provides for referral to be made to relevant external agencies and authorities where appropriate. In cases where the school has serious concerns in relation to managing the behaviour of a student, the advice of the National Education Psychological Service (NEPS) be sought.

Referral of serious cases to the HSE

In relation to bullying in schools, Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011 (Children First) and the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools provide that in situations where “the incident is serious and where the behaviour is regarded as potentially abusive, the school must consult the HSE Children and Family Social Services with a view to drawing up an appropriate response, such as a management plan”.

Serious instances of bullying behaviour may, in accordance with the Children First and the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, be referred to the HSE Children and Family Services and/or Gardaí as appropriate.

The Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools also provide that where school personnel have concerns about a child but are not sure whether to report the matter to the HSE, the Designated Liaison Person must seek advice from the HSE Children and Family Social Services.

  1. The school’s programme of support for pupils affected by bullying is as follows:
  2. All students affected by bullying will need support during and after the incident has been reported and investigated. These include the student(s) who have been bullied, the student(s) involved in bullying behaviour and students who observe incidents of bullying behaviour.
  3. Students who have been bullied may need counselling and/or opportunities to raise their self-esteem, develop their friendship and social skills and thereby build resilience.
  4. Student(s) involved in bullying behaviour may also need counselling to enhance their self-esteem and increase their feelings of self-worth. They may also need counselling to help them learn other ways of meeting their needs without violating the rights of others.
  5. Students in 1st, 2nd and 3rd Year may be referred for counselling to the School Chaplain
  6. Students from all year groups, but most especially 4th, 5th and 6th Year, may be referred for counselling to the Guidance Counsellor.
  7. Students who have been bullied will be advised to use the CALM approach should the bullying reoccur:
    • Breathe deeply
    • Count to ten several times
    • Repeat a message to myself 5 times
    • Relax
    • Calm facial expression
    • Report the incident to my Year Head or another trusted adult as soon as possible.
  8. In cases where further counselling is needed, the student will be encouraged to seek support from outside agencies, either through one of the agencies with which the school has established links, (e.g Lucena, Living Life Centre – Bray, Crosscare, etc.) or through referral from the student’s GP.
  9. Some students may need help from Learning Support Staff to enhance their social skills.
  10. Students will be encouraged to actively engage in curricular and non-curricular activities designed to promote self-esteem and highlight the consequences of bullying behaviour for all involved.
  11. Students will be encouraged to continue communicating with the people involved in the process. Students will be encouraged to choose “one good adult” who they feel comfortable talking to about any issues which may impede their progress in this area.
  12. Where necessary, the school may liaise with outside agencies such as NEPS, HSE, etc. where it is felt that it would be in the best interest of the student to do so.
  13. Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils

The Board of Management of Presentation College Bray 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.

  1. Prevention of Harassment

The Board of Management of Presentation College Bray 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.

  1. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on JUNE 3RD 2014.
  2. 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 and the patron if requested.
  3. This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management of Presentation College Bray 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.

Signed: ________________________________ Signed: _____________________________ (Chairperson of Board of Management) (Principal)

Date: __________________ Date: __________________

Date of next review: SEPTEMBER 2015

APPENDIX 1

INDICATORS OF BULLYING BEHAVIOUR

The following signs and symptoms may suggest that a student is being bullied:

  1. Anxiety about travelling to and from school e.g. requesting parents to drive or collect him/her, changing travel routes, avoiding regular times for travelling to and from school;
  2. Unwillingness to go to school, refusal to attend, truancy;
  3. Deterioration in educational performance, loss of concentration and loss of enthusiasm and interest in school;
  4. Pattern of physical illnesses e.g. headaches, stomach aches;
  5. Unexplained changes either in mood or behaviour which may be particularly noticeable before returning to school after weekends or more especially after longer school holidays;
  6. Visible signs of anxiety or distress e.g. stammering, withdrawing, nightmares, difficulty in sleeping, crying, not eating, vomiting, bedwetting;
  7. Spontaneous out-of-character comments about either pupils or teachers;
  8. Possessions missing or damaged;
  9. Increased requests for money or stealing money;
  10. Unexplained bruising or cuts or damaged clothing; and
  11. Reluctance and/or refusal to say what is troubling him/her.

There may be other signs depending on the individual and his/her circumstances. The above signs do not necessarily mean that a student is being bullied but if repeated or occurring in combination, these signs do warrant investigation in order to establish what is affecting the student.

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. While pupils often engage in ‘mess fights’, 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, e-mail, 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.

Cyber-bullying may include, but is not limited to:

  • Text-message Bullying- Bullying by the taking, sending and publication of photographs or video-clips via mobile phone cameras.
  • Phone call bullying via mobile phones. This can involve the theft and use of another’s phone in an attempt to make him or her appear culpable.
  • Bullying via Web-sites / Applications. This may include the use of defamatory blogs, personal web-sites, on-line personal polling sites, general polling sites, and also the misuse of certain social networking and file-share sites (e.g., ‘Facebook’, ‘You Tube’; ‘Ask FM’) for the purposes of bullying.
  • Bullying via games systems and other devices (e.g., X-Box, Nintendo DSI).

Name calling: Persistent name-calling directed at the same individual(s) which 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 locker 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

ANTI-BULLYING CHARTER

We are working with staff, pupils and parents to create a school community where bullying is not tolerated.

Bullying is the persistent and repeated acts – verbal, mental, physical or otherwise – that cause deep mental, emotional or physical pain to those who are bullied. Bullying is behaviour which leaves people feeling helpless, frightened, anxious, depressed or humiliated.

I can be seen as a bully if I treat anyone in one of the following ways (even if I think I am only messing):

  • Slagging a person.
  • Slagging a person’s family or friends.
  • Making comments about another person’s culture, religion or family background.
  • Criticising someone unfairly.
  • Slagging a person’s appearance.
  • Making fun of someone’s achievements or abilities.
  • Isolating or rejecting a person.
  • Calling someone names.
  • Writing offensive or hurtful notes, comments or graffiti about others.
  • Spreading rumours.
  • Being deliberately silent when spoken to or asked a question.
  • Putting pressure on people to tell me things about others that are none of my business.
  • Forcing others to act against their will.
  • Making someone feel uncomfortable or scared.
  • Sending offensive emails or texts.
  • Posting offensive comments online.
  • “Liking” something on a social media site that is offensive or causes hurt to others.
  • Using insults to make someone feel bad or humiliated.
  • Shouting at those who do not agree with my opinions.
  • Demanding that I have my own way and using any means to get it.
  • Using any form of physical violence against another, such as: hitting, shoving, shouldering, punching, tripping, kicking, spitting, etc.
  • Interfering with another person’s property by stealing, hiding, damaging, “bagging” or destroying it, etc.
  • Intimidating someone by means of aggressive body language or tone of voice.

I help bullies when:

  • I keep silent and do not tell someone when I see someone being bullied.
  • I do not show concern and support for the person being bullied.

NB – there is no such thing as an innocent bystander.

SEE IT!

SAY IT!

STOP IT!

I accept that I have a duty and responsibility not to engage in bullying behaviour of any sort and not to ignore any act of bullying that I may witness of be aware of.

Signed________________________________________________________ Date_____________