Anti-Bullying - tinahely national school

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Tinahely National School

Anti-Bullying Policy, 2012

This anti-bullying policy operates in conjunction with the Code of Behaviour, which is used to address isolated instances of anti-social behaviour

The school has a central role in the children’s’ social moral development just as it does in their academic development. In school, we work towards standards of behaviourbased on the basic principles of honesty, respect, consideration and responsibility. The individuality of each child needs to be accommodated while at the same time acknowledging the right of every child to education in a disruption free environment.

By introducing this policy, the school aims:
To strenuously and continuously highlight that bullying is not acceptable behaviour by school management, teachers, pupils or parents/guardians.the school community should always be respectful in our dealings with others.create a school ethos with encourages children to identify, disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour with members of staff and parents.ensure comprehensive supervision and monitoring measure where all areas of school activity are kept under observation.develop procedures for noting, investigating and dealing with incidents of bullying behaviour.implement a programme of support for those affected by, or involved in, bullying behaviour.

Definition of Bullying:

Bullying is repeated aggression or isolation that is conducted by an individual or group against others. This aggression can be verbal, psychological or physical. When the behaviour is systematic and ongoing it is bullying, but isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour, which should not be condoned, can scarcely be described as bullying.

While bullying can take place anywhere, this policy addresses bullying in school or at school-related activities. However, it must be noted that factors having their origins in conflicts outside the school may contribute to increased incidents of bullying within the school.

The following outlines the types of behaviour covered by the above definition that will be addressed in the school’s policy:

Physical aggression: Intimidation – physical or verbal (threatening gestures such as slitting throat sign)to propertytelephone calls/texts (the use of mobile phones during school time is prohibited, parents will have to be vigilant with regard to mobile phone use as the school cannot take responsibility for same)messages (email/social network sites): The school has a filtering system in the school which does not allow the use of networking sites, parents will have to be vigilant with regard to the use of these networking sites as the school cannot take responsibility for same.(e.g. where the student is shunned in the yard)callingdirected at an individual to make them feel uncomfortableform of sexual harassment – physical or verbal (inappropriate sexual reference to male/female students or staff)

Possible Symptoms or Indications of Bullying:

Anxiety about travelling to and from schoolof going out to the playgroundto attend schooldeterioration in educational performanceloss of concentration or mood changesof physical illness (e.g. headaches, stomach aches, etc…)missing or damaged a number of timesbruising or cuts or damaged clothingto say what is troubling him/herisolated in class or being left outbegin to bully other smaller childrenfrom home or anxiety: nightmares, difficulty in sleeping, repeated crying, not eating, vomiting, bedwetting, etc…

These signs do not necessarily mean that a pupil is being bullied. They can also be indicative of other problems. But if repeated or occurring in combination these signs do warrant investigation in order to establish what is affecting the pupil.

Strategies for Prevention of Bullying

The school fosters a positive school ethos among pupils, staff and parents. There is a strong sense of community and cooperation between Board of Management, staff, pupils and parents, and each has a clear role in their prevention of bullying. Every person in the school community has a responsibility to prevent bullying in school which is a collaborative approach supported by all.

Whole school training in anti-bullying has been carried out to raise awareness of the serious nature and consequences of bullying to individuals as part of the Code of Behaviour Policy.

Prevention of bullying incorporates the following strategies:
Through a programme of positive action, the school promotes an atmosphere of friendship, respect and tolerance.SPHE curriculum, including ‘Walk Tall’ and ‘Stay Safe’ programmes are used throughout the school to support the anti-bullying policy.self-esteem is fostered among the pupils by celebrating individual differences and achievements, by acknowledging and rewarding good behaviour and by providing opportunities for success.are thought to develop empathy by discussing feelings and by trying to put themselves in the place of others through the use of restorative practices.respond sensitively to pupils who disclose incidents of bullying.

Dealing with Bullying Behaviour

To counteract bullying it is important that all involved with children have an understanding of the factors that give rise to bullying. A high degree of collective staff vigilance is needed.

The following school policies and programmes are directly relevant to dealing with bullying in school:

Code of Discipline, approved by the Management, Parents and Staffprogramme which trains pupils in how to deal with bullying if it occurs by recognising the behaviour for what it is and by reporting it to a responsible adult.programme emphasised and rewards good behaviour in a positive approach to school discipline.assembly each week will promote a sense of community and co-operation among the pupils of the school.supervision of pupils by the staff during school time (9.00 – 2.40)arrangements will be made for children with particular difficulties; to be devised after consultation between the teaching staff and the parents of these children.

School Procedures for Investigating Bullying

Serious incidents of possible bullying behaviour will be noted by the class teacher and/or the teacher on duty. This will be done on the school incident form.
Such incidents will be investigated by the staff.
Serious incidents or persistent problems will be reported to the principal.
The bully will be asked to reflect on his/her behaviour and its consequences for everyone in the school, but especially for the victim.
The parents of the bully will be made aware of this behaviour and requested to come and discuss it with the teacher and/or the principal in order to resolve the problem.
The situation will continue to be monitored to ensure that the problem has been resolved.
Where cases relating to a pupil remain unresolved at school level, the matter should be referred to the Board of Management.

If the situation is serious, a child may need to be referred with parental consent to a child-guidance clinic for help and support.

Finally it should be noted by teachers that bullies often suffer from poor self-esteem. Teachers should use opportunities to praise good, considerate or helpful behaviour. They should not look only for negatives.

Implementation Date

This policy will apply from April 2012.

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