Anti-Bullying Policy

Anti Bullying Policy

Kyle National School

Anti Bullying Policy

The Board of Management of Kyle National School believes that its pupils have the right to learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment without fear of being bullied. The B.O.M. recognizes the importance of maintaining high standards of behavior and discipline in school. The role of the school is to provide the highest possible standard of education for its pupils. A stable, secure learning environment is an essential requirement to achieve this goal. It is important therefore that the school has a clear, written policy to maintain these standards and to ensure that pupils and parent(s) / guardians are fully aware that any bullying complaints will be dealt with firmly, fairly and promptly.

Rationale

A school policy on Countering Bullying Behaviour is a requirement laid down in the Guidelines of Curaclam na bunscoile

Relationship to Characteristic Spirit of the School

This policy is in keeping with the school ethos of providing a safe and secure environment for all pupils and the wider community.

Aims

This policy aims to ensure that the school is a place free from bullying:

Bullying is repeated aggression, verbal, psychological or physical conducted by an individual or group against others. Isolated incidents of aggressive behavior, although not condoned, cannot be described as bullying. However when the behavior is systematic and ongoing it is bullying. Bullying affects everyone, not just the bullies and the victims. It also affects those children who watch and less aggressive pupils can be drawn in by the group pressure. Bullying is not an inevitable part of school life or necessary part of growing up and rarely sorts itself out.

Types of Bullying

Physical: This includes punching, kicking, pushing, hitting or spitting etc. This also includes damaging property of a victim.

Verbal: verbal abuse can take the form of name calling, abusive language, slander, slagging, threats etc.

Psychological: This includes isolation – exclusion from discussions/activities, use of the internet/email/mobile phone to hurt, name call etc. extortion – obtaining (e.g. money, lunch, sweets etc.) from a person by force or threat etc.

Combating Bullying and the Action towards Prevention:

Role of staff

  • The Principal and the staff exercise constant vigilance in the matter of misbehaviour. Our aim is to prevent misbehaviour rather than control. Positive behavior is always recognised, affirmed and sought.
  • Any complaints of bullying are dealt with quickly, firmly and fairly.
  • The principal is informed of any instance of bullying.
  • Awareness of bullying as a form of unacceptable behaviour is addressed in the classroom, at school assemblies and other informal occasions when the opportunity arises.
  • Pupils are taught skills and encouraged to report any incident of bullying.

 Advice for Pupils

  • Tell yourself that you do not deserved to be bullied, and that it is WRONG.
  • Be proud of who you are. It is good to be individual.
  • Try not to show that you are upset. It is hard but a bully thrives on someone’s fear.
  • Stay with a group of friends/people. There is safety in numbers.
  • Be assertive – shout NO. Walk away confidently. Go straight to a teacher or member of staff
  • Fighting back makes things worse – so don’t fight back. REPORT to a teacher or parent(s)/guardians instead. If you need support find a friend and both of you speak to the teacher.
  • Generally it is best to tell an adult you trust straight away. You will get immediate support.

The teachers will take you seriously and will deal with bullies in a way which will end the bullying and will not make things worse for you.

IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE IS BEING BULLIED:

  • TAKE ACTION – Watching and doing looks as if you are on the side of the bully. It makes the victim feel more unhappy and on their own.
  • If you feel you cannot get involved, tell an adult IMMEDIATELY. Teachers have ways of dealing with the bully without getting you in trouble.
  • Do not be, or pretend to be friends with a bully.

 Advice for Parents

  • Look for unusual behavior in your children. For example, they may suddenly not wish to attend school, feel ill regularly, or not complete work to their normal standard, ask for money or begin stealing money.
  • Always take an active role in your child’s education by enquiring how they are getting on.
  • If you feel your child may be a victim of bullying behavior, inform the school IMMEDIATELY. Your complaint will be taken seriously and appropriate action will follow.
  • It is important to advise your child not to fight back. It can make matters worse.
  • Tell your child there is nothing wrong with him/her. It is not her fault that they are being bullied.
  • Make sure your child is fully aware of the School Policy concerning Bullying, and that they will not be afraid to ask for help.

 COUNTERING BULLYING BEHAVIOUR

• The school acknowledges the right of each member of the school  community to enjoy school in a secure environment.

• The school promotes positive habits of self-respect, discipline and responsibility among all its members.

• The school has a clear commitment to promoting equity in general, and gender equity in particular, in all aspects of its functioning.

• Staff members will use their best endeavours to prevent bullying/aggressive behaviour by any member of the school.

• The school promotes qualities of social responsibility, tolerance and understanding among all its members, both in school and out of school.

• The school acknowledges the uniqueness of each individual and his/her worth as a human being.

• The school promotes habits of mutual respect, courtesy and an awareness of the interdependence of people in a group or community.

• The school recognises the rights of parents to share in the task of equipping the pupil with a range of life skills.

• The school recognises the need to co-operate with and keep parents informed on procedures to improve relationships within the school community.

• The school takes particular care of “at risk” pupils and uses its monitoring system to provide early intervention if necessary, and responds to the needs, fears and anxieties of individual members in a sensible manner.

• The school has the capacity to change in response to pupils’ needs.

Kyle N.S. will not be held responsible for incidents that occur between students after school hours. It is outside the remit of the B.O.M. to investigate or deal with same. ( This does not effect school related activities after school hours)

It is the parent’s responsibility to monitor and guide their child’s use of social media and technological devices. Here again the school will not be held responsible for the inappropriate use of social media, including but not limited to Facebook and Twitter.

Procedures for Noting and Reporting an incident of Bullying Behaviour

  1. All procedures of bullying, no matter how trivial, will be noted, investigated and dealt with by teachers. In that way pupils will gain confidence in reporting. This confidence factor is of vital importance.
  2. Serious cases of bullying behavior by pupils will be referred immediately to the Principal.
  3. Parent(s)/guardians of victims and bullies will be informed by the Principal earlier rather than later of incidents so that they are given the opportunity of discussing the matter. They are then in a position to help and support their children before the crisis occurs.
  4. Non – teaching staff are encouraged to report any incidents of bullying behavior witnessed by them, to the teaching staff.
  5. In the case of a complaint regarding a staff member, this should normally in the first incidence be raised with staff member in question and if necessary, with the Principal.
  6. In cases where issues relating to either a pupil or a teacher remain unresolved at school level, the matter should be referred to the School’s Board of Management.

Procedure for Investigating and Dealing with Bullying:

Teachers will take a calm, unemotional approach when dealing with incidents of bullying behavior reported by pupils, staff or parent(s)/guardians. Such incidents will be investigated outside the classroom situation to avoid the public humiliation of the victim or the pupil engaged in bullying behavior. In any incident of bullying, the teacher will speak separately to the pupils involved, in an attempt to get both sides of the story. All interviews will be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned.

  1. When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the teacher will seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-aggressive manner.
  2. If a group is involved, each member will be interviewed individually and then the individuals are met as a group. Each member will be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure that everyone is clear about what everyone also has said.

3(a).If it is concluded that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behavior, it will be made clear to get him/her how he/she is in breach of the Code of Behaviour and Discipline and try to get him/her to see the see the situation from the victim’s point of view.

 (b) The parent of the pupils involved may be contacted.

4. In cases where it has been determined that bullying behavior has occurred, a meeting of discussion will take place with the parent(s) or guardians of the parties involved as appropriate to:

(a) explain the actions being taken and the reasons for them, referring them to the school policy.

(b) discuss ways in which they can reinforce and support the actions taken by the school.

5. If deemed necessary suspension or expulsion of pupils as outlined in the Code of Behaviour will be considered.

6. In order to ascertain that relationships have improved, the staff of Kyle will follow up by making contact with all concerned.

7. It is the Board of Management’s responsibility to provide a comfortable, safe environment and support the Principal and staff in implementing this policy.

8. It is the Principal’s Responsibility to oversee the promotion of a positive climate in the school and ensure that the policy is implemented in a fair and consistent manner.

9. It is the Responsibility of the entire school community to support and implement this Policy

Success Criteria

In the belief that most effective schools tend to be those with the best relationships with parents, every effort will be made by the teachers to ensure that parents are kept well informed, that the school provides a welcoming atmosphere towards parents and fosters an atmosphere of good relations between pupils with a view to excluding bullying behaviour of any kind in the school.

Parents should instill in their children the importance of good behaviour towards their fellow pupils and teachers and avoid bullying behaviour.

Implementation

This policy has been in operation since September 2009. It was revised in March 2013 and was ratified by the B.O.M. in April 2013.

Signed:_________________  ( Chairperson of Board)  Date:___________

            _________________ (Principal)  Date: _______________

This policy will be reviewed annually and revised as deemed necessary at regular intervals.