Close

Anti-Bullying

Anti-Bullying Policy

Bullying can be defined as repeated aggression whether it is verbal, psychological or physical, which is conducted by an individual or a group against others. It is behaviour which is intentionally aggravating and intimidating, serious, distressing to the victim(s) and repeated over a long period. It includes physical, verbal and emotional behaviour by one or more pupils against a victim.

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 St Colman’s National School, Cappagh 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.

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:

Continue Reading

1. 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;

 

Examples of this include;

(a)Effective leadership

(b) A school-wide approach

(c) A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact

(d) Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils, explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including homophobic and transphobic bullying.

(e) Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils

(f) Supports for staff

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

(h) On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.

 

2. Various Indications and Types of Bullying

Physical

pushing, hitting, shoving, punching, kicking, poking, tripping, etc.

Verbal

Name calling which hurts, insults or humiliates.

Emotional

Threats of persistent hurtful remarks regarding sensitive areas e.g. appearance, dress, progress, colour, culture and disability. Isolating or shunning a child. Teasing, taunting, threatening, exclusion or extortion. Bullying behaviour thrives in an atmosphere of uncertainty and secrecy in which the victim often feels a sense of hopelessness.

The usual name for this type of behaviour is ‘bullying’.  We try to discourage this term because:

  1. It “labels” the perpetrator
  2. It covers too broad a range of behaviour from e.g. breaking pencils to beating up badly
  3. The behaviour should be named e.g. calling names, punching, kicking etc.

 

Indications of bullying

  • Anxiety about attending school
  • Deterioration in educational performance
  • Pattern of physical illness
  • Unexplained changes in mood or behaviour
  • Visible signs of anxiety or distress
  • Possessions missing
  • Increased requests for money
  • Unexplained bruising
  • Reluctance to say what is troubling him/her.

These are all signs of a variety of problems as well as bullying.

Note: Isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour, while not to be condoned, cannot be described as bullying.

The school takes particular care to provide early intervention in responding to the needs, fears or anxieties of individual members in a sensitive manner.

 

Suspicion of bullying behaviour

Should a parent/guardian have any concerns which need to be discussed with a teacher, all staff members are more than willing to facilitate a meeting, made only through the proper channels i.e. a phone call to the school to arrange a convenient time for both parties involved. This arrangement ensures that all concerns are dealt with in a dignified, meaningful manner, without infringing on valuable teaching time.

When a parent(s) and/or child makes a complaint we will ask the parents to fill out a sheet over the next while, naming, dating and if possible giving the time of the incident(s).  This may then be presented to the parent(s) of the alleged perpetrator.

 

3. Preventative Measures and Whole School Approach

  1. Circle time and class discussion on rights of individual – fairness etc.
  2. Religion class, respect for others.
  3. Posters, Leaflets, Role-play from time to time as appropriate.
  4. Monitor new pupils as to how they are settling in.
  5. Teacher, parents and other pupils, be watchful.
  6. Encourage “victim” or other pupils to “tell” in confidence as early as possible.  Assure them that action will only be taken with their permission.
  7. Work on building self-esteem of pupils in S.P.H.E., Stay Safe etc.
  8. Encourage a friendly atmosphere between pupil / pupil and pupil / teacher.
  9. Advise pupils that a joke is no longer a joke when the other person gets annoyed.
  10. Encourage children to say things like: ‘please do not do that again’ or ‘do not do that, I don’t like it’.
  11. The implementation of the SPHE curriculum, according to our school plan, including the RSE and Stay Safe Programmes.
  12. School wide delivery of lessons on bullying from evidence based programmes, e.g. Stay Safe Programme and The Walk Tall Programme (integrated); cyberbullying (Webwise teachers’ resources) and lessons from www.antibullyingcampaign.ie
  13. Delivery of the Garda SPHE Programmes at primary level.  These lessons, delivered by Community Gardai (when available) cover issues around personal safety and cyber-bullying.
  14. The school will specifically consider the additional needs of special educational needs (SEN) pupils with regard to programme implementation and the development of skills and strategies to enable all pupils to respond appropriately.

 

4. Investigation and Follow Up Procedures

  • 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
  • All reports, including anonymous reports and allegations of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher.
  • Where possible incidents will be investigated outside the classroom.
  • The relevant class teacher and Principal will speak  separately to both parties and record their findings in writing. Both victim/s and alleged  bully/ies  may be requested to write an account of the incident
  • Where a group is involved members will be first   interviewed separately and then as a group.
  • All interviews will be conducted with sensitivity with due regard for the rights of all concerned.
  • The answers to the key questions of What? Where? When? Who? and Why? will be sought.
  • Pupils not directly involved in the incident may also be interviewed .
  • When it is established that bullying has occurred Parents/Guardians of both victim and bully will be informed  and invited to discuss the matter with relevant teacher and Principal.They will be informed of what action will be taken in line with the school’s Code of Behaviour and requested to support the action
  • Where a parent/ guardian contacts the relevant class teacher or Principal making an allegation of bullying they are requested to, as far as possible, to state their allegation in writing
  • In cases where the relevant teacher considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after it was determined that the bullying behaviour occurred it must be recorded in the recording template  (Appendix 3 of Anti Bullying Procedures)  having consulted section 8;9 xix of guidelines
  • Where matters are unresolved at school level the matter  will be referred to the school’s  Board Of Management. Where a parent/Guardian is dissatisfied with the school response the complaint should be made in writing to the Chairperson of the Board.
  • In the event of  a parent/Guardian not satisfied by the school’s response  they have a right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.

Note: It is not school policy to discuss individual cases of bullying in a public forum.

 

5. Procedures for Dealing with Bullying

  • Identify behaviour and assess frequency and seriousness of situation
  • If not too serious, the situation could be monitored for a while.  Have a chat with both parties.
  • Victim and perpetrator to be treated seriously and with fairness, listening to all sides
  • If the situation is serious and is continued for a time, direct contact between parents will be encouraged
  • If situation is not resolved rules and procedures for serious misbehaviour in the school Code of Discipline will be invoked
  • Continue to monitor the situation
  • Talk to victim and perpetrator(s) periodically
  • Speak to parents
  • Repeat discussion with class(es) about rights, responsibilities, using e.g. role play questionnaires etc.
  • If parents have concerns about their child being bullied they should inform the class teacher
  • Reports of bullying either from parents or staff members should be recorded. The teacher should investigate and act appropriately. If the teacher suspects that bullying occurred, the Principal/Deputy Principal should be informed
  • Parents of those involved should be notified and given an opportunity to discuss the matter with the teacher
  • It should be made clear that children reporting incidents of bullying are acting responsibly
  • A record should be kept of how the matter was handled and the outcome. When the class moves on, the succeeding teacher should be informed of any problems that existed.
  • All reports ,including anonymous reports  and allegations of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher.
  • Where  possible incidents will be investigated outside the classroom.
  • The relevant class teacher and Principal will speak  separately to both parties and record their findings in writing. Both victim/s and  alleged  bully/ies  may be requested to write an account of the incident.
  • Where a group is involved members will be first   interviewed separately and then as a group.
  • All interviews will be conducted with sensitivity with due regard for the rights of all concerned.
  • The answers to the key questions of  What? Where? When? Who? and Why? will be sought.
  • Pupils not directly involved in the incident may also be interviewed .
  • When it is established that bullying has occurred Parents/Guardians of both victim and bully will be informed  and invited to discuss the matter with relevant teacher and Principal. They will be informed of what action will be taken in line with the school’s Code of Behaviour and requested to support the action
  • Where a parent/ guardian contacts the relevant class teacher or Principal  making an allegation of bullying they are requested to ,as far as possible,  to state their allegation in writing
  • In cases where the relevant teacher considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20  school days after it was determined that the bullying behaviour occurred it must be recorded in the recording template  ( Appendix 3 of Anti Bulling Procedures)  having consulted section 8;9 xix of guidelines.
  • Where matters are unresolved at school level the matter will be referred to the school’s  Board Of Management. Where a parent/Guardian is dissatisfied with the school response the complaint should be made in writing to the Chairperson of the Board.
  • In the event of a parent/Guardian not satisfied by the school’s response they have a right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.

 

See also Anti-cyber Bulling Policy

 

Confidentiality

Confidentiality by all parties will be kept at all times.

 

6. Investigating and dealing with bullying- Teacher Guidelines

  • Calm, unemotional, problem solving approach
  • Incidents are best investigated outside of the classroom situation
  • Teachers should speak separately to the children involved
  • Members of a gang should be met separately and as a group
  • Parents should be informed where it has been determined that bullying has occurred
  • Once the bullying of the child has ceased, the teacher should check with the child on a regular basis that no further difficulties have arisen.

 

7. Responsibilities and Roles in St.Colman’s N.S.

Responsibilities of School Staff

To acknowledge that bullying is a shared responsibility within the school.

To implement prevention and intervention strategies which build and maintain safe learning environment for the whole school community.

To empower students to deal with conflict in constructive ways.

To take all reports of bullying seriously and to report them to the Principal if warranted.

To document any serious bullying incidents using the Bullying Incident Report Form.

 

Responsibilities of Pupils

To show consideration, respect and support towards others.

To be able to identify bullying behaviour.

To not bully others.

To tell if they are being bullied or if they see someone else being bullied

To engage in responsible reporting when witnessing or experiencing bullying behaviour.

To develop a sense of empathy for targeted members of the school community and as a result take safe and sensible action as a bystander.

 

Responsibilities of Parents

To support the school in the implementation of the policy

To watch out for signs that their child may be being bullied.

To speak to the class teacher if their child is being bullied or they suspect that this is happening.

To speak to the class teacher as soon as they are aware that issues are arising which are affecting their child.

To instruct their children to tell if they are being bullied or if they have seen other pupils being bullied.

To notify the school if they think that their child is displaying bullying behaviour and to work with the school in addressing this problem. They should not defer letting the school know of any issue, in the hope that the problem will go away.

To ensure that if their children are online that they are using social media in a safe and responsible manner; parental supervision is very important in this area as there are risks associated with internet/website access.

To never directly approach a student, or the parent of a student, at the school to intervene in behavioural issues.

 

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. 

[See Acceptable Use Policy.]

[See Mobile Phone Policy, included in Code of Behaviour.]

 

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 members of the school community 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.

 

This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year, using Appendix 4 of Circ 045/2013.

Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website and made accessible to parents and pupils. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the Department of Education and the Patron.

 

 

Appendix 1: 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 rumours, 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/YouTube 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, attacks or 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
  • “Bitching”
  • 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

 

Template for recording bullying behaviour, known as Appendix 2.       

 

  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 reportedthe 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
 

 

 

 

 

 

* 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.

Anti-Cyber Bullying Policy

 

St.Colman’s N.S, aims to ensure that children are safe and feel safe from bullying, harassment and discrimination. This school is committed to teaching children the knowledge and skills to be able to use ICT effectively, safely and responsibly.

Continue Reading

Understanding Cyber Bullying:

  • Cyber bullying is the use of ICT (usually a mobile phone and or the internet) to abuse another person
  • It can take place anywhere and involve many people
  • Anybody can be targeted including pupils and school staff
  • It can include threats, intimidation, harassment, cyber-stalking, vilification, defamation, exclusion, peer rejection, impersonation, unauthorized publication of private information or images etc.
  • While bullying involves a repetition of unwelcome behaviour the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools, September 2013, states:

2.1.3.In addition, in the context of these procedures 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.

What is cyber-bullying?

There are many types of cyber-bullying. The more common types are:

  1. Text messages – can be threatening or cause discomfort.  Also included here is ‘Bluejacking’ (the sending of anonymous text messages over short distances using bluetooth wireless technology)
  2. Picture/video-clips via mobile phone cameras – images sent to others to make the victim feel threatened or embarrassed
  3. Mobile phone calls – silent calls, abusive messages or stealing the victim‛s phone and using it to harass others, to make them believe the victim is responsible
  4. Emails – threatening or bullying emails, often sent using a pseudonym or somebody else‛s name
  5. Chat room bullying – menacing or upsetting responses to children or young people when they are in a web-based chat room
  6. Instant messaging (IM) – unpleasant messages sent while children conduct real-time conversations online using MSM (Microsoft Messenger), Yahoo Chat or similar tools
  7. Bullying via websites – use of defamatory blogs (web logs), personal websites and online personal ‘own web space’ sites such as You Tube, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, Ask.fm, Bebo (which works by signing on in one‛s school, therefore making it easy to find a victim) and Myspace – although there are others.

Explanation of slang terms used when referring to cyber-bullying activity:

  1. ‘Flaming’: Online fights using electronic messages with angry and vulgar language
  2. Harassment’: Repeatedly sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages
  3. ‘Cyber Stalking’: Repeatedly sending messages that include threats of harm or are highly intimidating or engaging in other on-line activities that make a person afraid for his or her own safety
  4. Denigration’: ‘Dissing’ someone online. Sending or posting cruel gossip or rumors about a person to damage his or her reputation or friendships
  5. Impersonation’: Pretending to be someone else  and sending or posting material online that makes someone look bad, gets her/him in trouble or danger, or damages her/his reputation or friendships
  6. Outing and Trickery’: Tricking someone into revealing secret or embarrassing information which is then shared online
  7. Exclusion’: Intentionally excluding someone from an on-line group, like a ‘buddy list’

Note: This list is not exhaustive and the terms used continue to change.

Aims of Policy:

  • To ensure that pupils, staff and parents understand what cyber bullying is and how it can be combated
  • To ensure that practices and procedures are agreed to prevent incidents of cyber-bullying
  • To ensure that reported incidents of cyber bullying are dealt with effectively and quickly.

Procedures to prevent cyber-bullying:

  • Staff, pupils, parents and Board of Management (BoM) will be made aware of issues surrounding cyber bullying through the use of appropriate awareness-raising exercises
  • Pupils will learn about cyber bullying through Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE), assemblies, friendship week activities and other curriculum projects
  • The school will engage a speaker to facilitate a workshop on cyber bullying for 5th and 6th classes annually. Classes 1st to 6th will participate in the ‘Bullying in a Cyber World’ programme.
  • Staff CPD (Continuous Professional Development) will assist in learning about current technologies
  • Parents will be provided with information and advice on how to combat cyber bullying
  • Pupils will sign an Acceptable Use of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) contract
  • Parents will be expected to sign an Acceptable Use of ICT contract prior to enrolment and to discuss its meaning with their children
  • Pupils and parents will be urged to report all incidents of cyber bullying to the school
  • All reports of cyber bullying will be investigated, recorded, stored in the Principal’s office and monitored regularly
  • Procedures in our school Anti-bullying Policy shall apply
  • The Gardaí will be contacted in cases of actual or suspected illegal content
  • This policy will be reviewed annually. Pupils, parents and staff will be involved in reviewing and revising this policy and any related school procedure.

Information for pupils:

If you are being bullied by phone or on the Internet:

  • Remember, bullying is never your fault. It can be stopped and it can usually be traced.
  • Don‛t ignore the bullying. Tell someone you trust, such as a teacher or parent or call an advice line.
  • Try to keep calm. If you are frightened, try to show it as little as possible. Don‛t get angry, it will only make the person bullying you more likely to continue.
  • Don‛t give out your personal details online – if you are in a chat room, do not say where you live, the school you go to, your email address etc. All these things can help someone who wants to harm you to build up a picture about you.
  • Keep and save any bullying emails, text messages or images. Then you can show them to a parent or teacher as evidence.
  • If you can, make a note of the time and date bullying messages or images were sent, and note any details about the sender
  • There is plenty of online advice on how to react to cyber bullying. For example, websites such as ReachOut.com and Wired Safety have some useful tips.

Text/video messaging

  • You can easily stop receiving text messages for a while by turning-off incoming messages for a couple of days. This might stop the person texting you by making them believe you‛ve changed your phone number
  • If the bullying persists, you can change your phone number. Ask your mobile service provider about this.
  • Don‛t reply to abusive or worrying text or video messages.
  • Your mobile service provider will have a number for you to ring or text to report phone bullying. Visit their website for details.
  • Don‛t delete messages from cyber bullies. You don‛t have to read them, but you should keep them as evidence.

Useful Websites:

www.spunout.ie

http://www.childnet.com/

www.antibullying.net

www.bbc.co.uk/schools/bullying

http://ie.reachout.com

www.childline.ie/index.php/support/bullying/1395

www.abc.tcd.ie

www.sticksandstones.ie

www.kidpower.org

StopCyberbullying.org

POSTitPositive.com

WiredCops.org

Teenangels.org

Tweenangels.org