Anti-Bullying Policy – Revised
- 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 Coláiste na Toirbhirte, Bandon 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:
(a) 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;
|See Table A (6.1.5.Procedures): Key elements of a positive school culture and climate, and also Appendix 2: Practical tips for building a school culture and climate.|
(b) Effective leadership
(c) A school-wide approach
(d) A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact
(e) 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;
- effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;
(f) Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils
(g) Supports for staff
(h) Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and
(i) On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.
- In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
Examples of bullying behaviours
General behaviours which apply to all
· 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
· The production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other materials aimed at intimidating another person
· Offensive graffiti
· Insulting or offensive gestures
· Invasion of personal space
· A combination of any of the types listed.
· Denigration: Spreading rumors, 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
· 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
· Physical intimidation or attacks
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
This involves manipulating relationships as a means of bullying. Behaviours include:
· Malicious gossip
· Isolation & exclusion
· Excluding from the group
· Taking someone’s friends away
· Spreading rumours
· Breaking confidence
· Talking loud enough so that the victim can hear
· Unwelcome or inappropriate sexual comments or touching
Special Educational Needs,
The Relevant Teachers in this school are: The Year Heads
Care Team/Student Support
Any teacher may act as a relevant teacher if circumstances warrant it.
- The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying is (are) as follows: (see Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools):
Refer to section 6.8.3. and 6.8.4 in the Procedures.
- The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber-
bullying, homophobic and transphobic bullying) that may be used by the school are as follows (see Section 6.5 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools):
Education and Prevention Strategies
o Direct approach to teacher at an appropriate time, for example after class.
o Hand note up with homework.
o Make a phone call to the school or to a trusted teacher in the school.
o Get a parent(s)/guardian(s) or friend to tell on your behalf.
o Ensure bystanders understand the importance of telling if they witness or know that bullying is taking place.
· Identify clear protocols to encourage parent(s)/guardian(s) to approach the school by contacting the class teacher /Year Head if they suspect that their child is being bullied.
· An Acceptable Use Policy in the school that ensures the access to technology within the school is strictly monitored.
· Weekly meetings of Care-Team and of Middle Management (Assistant Principals & Year Heads) with Principal and Deputy Principal.
· Supports and resources available to the school may be found on the SPHE website- www.sphe.ie.
Implementation of curricula
Links to other policies
Investigating and dealing with incidents: Style of approach
It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident(s)
Follow up and recording
– Whether the bullying behaviour 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;
-Any feedback received from the parties involved, their parent(s)/guardian(s)s or the school Principal or Deputy Principal
Recording of bullying behaviour
It is imperative that all recording of bullying incidents must be done in an objective and factual manner.
The school’s procedures for noting and reporting bullying behaviour are as follows:
Informal- pre-determination that bullying has occurred
· A Student Record Form (Appendix 2) is completed by the staff member reporting the behaviour and placed in the student’s file. All incidents must be reported to the relevant teacher.
· The relevant teacher must inform the Deputy/Principal of all incidents being investigated.
Informal-determination that bullying has occurred
· If it is established by the relevant teacher that bullying has occurred, the relevant teacher must keep appropriate written records Appendix 1 which will assist his/her efforts to resolve the issues and restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved.
· Any incidents of bullying will be recorded and filed.
Formal- (From DES Procedures)
The relevant teacher must use the recording template at Appendix 2 to record the bullying
behaviour in the following circumstances:
a) 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
b) in certain circumstances where bullying behaviour must be recorded and reported immediately to the Principal or Deputy Principal as applicable.
When the recording template is used, it will be filed in the office.
Established intervention strategies
While this policy addresses issues related to bullying of students (i.e. situations in which one or more students are the victim(s) of bullying), the policy applies to teaching and other school staff, parents/guardians, and others insofar as measures under the policy relate to them. Furthermore, at the school’s discretion, the policy applies outside the school if the behaviour impacts upon any person’s participation in our school.
Bullying behaviours such as cyber bullying which break the law may be referred to the Gardaí.
- The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows
(see Section 6.8.16 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools) :
· All in-school supports and opportunities will be provided for the pupils affected by bullying to participate in activities designed to raise their self-esteem, to develop friendships and social skills and build resilience e.g.
– Pastoral care system
– Buddy / Peer mentoring system
– Tutor/Year head system
– Care team / Student Support Team
· If pupils require counselling of further supports the school will endeavour to liaise with the appropriate agencies to organise same. This may be for the pupil affected by bullying or involved in the bullying behaviour.
· Pupils should understand that there are no innocent bystanders and that all incidents of bullying behaviour must be reported to a teacher.
Download our ANTI BULLYING RECORD SHEET