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 Edward’s national school 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 children are taught that society is made up of a variety of different people, all of whom deserve our respect, all of whom have the right to be treated equally and to have the fundamental right to be allowed to exist in society and be content in their lives.   No bullying can therefore be tolerated and no discrimination based on the nine stated grounds included in equality legislation, i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community, can be allowed.

 

We promote the notion of a school community where everything we do is based on mutual respect. ‘Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself’

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:

We work together to create 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;

Through effective leadership, a school-wide approach, a shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact and 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;

 by providing adequate  supports for staff and consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and 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.

It is important to be aware that children like everyone else may have disagreements or ‘fall out’ with each other ,  but this is different from bullying.  It is also worth remembering that some children do not get on with some others, but again this is not to be confused with   bullying

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 at the end of this policy

 

Strategies to prevent bullying that are used in St Edward’s

 

The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber- bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and trans-phobic bullying) that will be used by the school are:

  • The Stay Safe Programme
  • SPHE
  • RSE Programme
  • Walk Tall Programme
  • Resources from the anti-bullying campaign
  • Posters and books addressing cyber-bullying are used in conjunction with webwise internet safety site
               Links to other policies

  • The anti-bullying procedures are particularly relevant to the Code of Behaviour, Child Protections policy, Supervision of pupils, Acceptable Use policy, Attendance and Sporting activities.

6. 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 (see Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and

Post-Primary Schools):

                                 Procedures for Investigaing and Dealing with Bullying The primary aim 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);

 

Every effort will be made to ensure that all involved (including pupils, parent(s)/guardian(s)) understand this approach from the outset. The aim of this procedure is to help staff, pupils, and parents to:

Recognise, Reject, Report and hopefully Resolve bullying issues through reform of behaviour not blame on the child.

 

 Who will deal with accusations of bullying:

 

As with all instances of misbehaviour in school, if there is an accusation of bullying in school, the class teacher (or the teacher on yard, if the incident occurs on yard) will investigate and deal with the incident in the first instance.  The teacher on yard will discuss the incident with the child(ren)’s class teacher.

Stage 1

Investigating and dealing with incidents

  •  When an incident of bullying is identified, the teacher (and SNA) who is dealing with it goes through a restorative approach with the child and explains why the behaviour is not acceptable. Staff ask the following questions:
  •  What happened?
  • What were you thinking at the time?
  • What have you thought about since?
  • Who has been affected by what you have done?   In what way?
  • What do you need to do to make things right?

If a group are involved, they will be spoken with individually or School Group Conferences can be held to deal with issues:

  • Offenders tell what they did
  • Everyone talks about what impact this has had on them
  • The group reaches a shared understanding of the harm that has been done
  • The group negotiates an agreement about how to repair the damage and minimise further harm.

Following this process pupils sign the Pupil Promise which is kept on file with the relevant teacher.

If the promise is broken, the situation is brought to the Principal’s attention. A repeat of bullying behaviour will be considered a serious incident and will be dealt with following the procedures in the code of behaviour. Parents will be informed and requested to support the school’s anti-bullying policy and help resolve the issue.

A record of all incidents of bullying and follow ups will be kept and monitored by relevant staff.

Formal Stage 2-Appendix 3 (From DES Procedures)

The relevant teacher must use the recording template at Appendix B 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) Where the school has decided as part of its anti-bullying policy that in certain circumstances bullying behaviour must be recorded and reported immediately to the Principal or Deputy Principal as applicable.

 

 

When the recording template is used, it must be retained by the relevant teacher in question and a copy maintained by the principal.

 

Reporting bullying behaviour

  • Any pupil or parent(s)/guardian(s) may bring a bullying incident to any teacher in the school.
  • All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying, will be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher.
  •  Non-teaching staff such as  the secretary, special needs assistants (SNAs), the  caretakers and cleaners must report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher;

 

  • It must also be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parent(s)/guardian(s)) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) and the school;

 

 

 

 

 

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

– through a whole school support approach

Group work such as circle time

And restorative conferencing

 

 

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.

 

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.

9. 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 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.

 

10. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on ________________ [date].

 

12. This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management 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 (or where none exists, be otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists). A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.

 

Signed:                             Noel Rooney                            Signed:  Jean Mc Gowan

(Chairperson of Board of Management)                                 (Principal)

Date: 11th April 2014                                                             Date: 11th April 2014

Date of next review: April 2015 

 

 Examples of bullying behaviours which are not acceptable in St Edward’s NS

 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 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 e.g. Facebook/Ask.fm/ Twitter/You Tube or on games consoles
  • Abusive website comments/Blogs/Pictures
  • Abusive posts on any form of communication technology
Identity Based BehavioursIncluding 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 e.g. Gay, queer, lesbian…used in a derogatory manner
  • Physical intimidation or attacks
  • 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

 

 

Appendix A

St Edward’s NS

Appendix B Template for recording bullying behaviour

1. Name of pupil being bullied and class group

 

Name _________________________________________Class__________________

 

2. 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    

5. Name of person(s) who reported the bullying concern

 

 

6. Type of Bullying Behaviour (tick relevant box(es)) *

Physical Aggression   Cyber-bullying  
Damage to Property   Intimidation  
Isolation/Exclusion   Malicious Gossip  
Name Calling   Other (specify)  

 

7.  Where behaviour is regarded as identity-based bullying, indicate the relevant category:

 

Homophobic Disability/SEN related Racist Membership of Traveller community Other (specify)
         

 

8. Brief Description of bullying behaviour and its impact

 

 

 

 

  1. 9.       Details of  actions taken
 

 

 

Signed ______________________________ (Relevant Teacher)   Date ___________________________

 

Date submitted to Principal ___________________