Anti-Bullying Policy

Introduction

The anti-bullying policy operates in conjunction with the Code of Behaviour. In the school, we work towards standards of behaviour based on the basic principles of honesty, respect, consideration and responsibility. The individuality of the child needs to be accommodated while at the same time acknowledging the right of every child to an education in a disruption-free environment.

Definition of Bullying

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 and physical conducted, by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.

Isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour, which should not be condoned, can scarcely be described as bullying.

Aims of the policy

  • To foster the school ethos of mutual and self-respect
  • To raise awareness of bullying as a form of unacceptable behaviour
  • To outline, promote and raise awareness of preventative approaches that can be used in response to reported incidences of bullying
  • To develop a programme of support for those affected by bullying behaviour and for those involved in bullying behaviour
  • To outline procedures for noting and reporting instances of bullying behaviour
  • To outline procedures for investigating and dealing with bullying behaviour

Procedures

Child to child bullying

Stage 1

Unless the incident is of a very serious nature, it will be dealt with by the classroom teacher. Teachers respect the need to support the esteem of each party involved. When a teacher becomes aware that a child is regularly involved in incidents, he/she will keep a record of such incidents. The purpose of the record is

  • To aid memory by recording details of the incident
  • For clarity in an assessment of the situation
  • For planning and intervention

Should a parent have concerns which need to be discussed they should contact the school office to arrange a time which is convenient to both parties. This arrangement ensures that all concerns are dealt with in a dignified, meaningful manner, without impinging on valuable class time. All staff members are more than willing to facilitate such a meeting.

Following the meeting between teacher and parents in regards to the bullying, the class teacher will investigate the incidents. The class teacher will speak to both parties individually. Following investigation, the teacher will identify the types of behaviour and assess the frequency and seriousness of the situation. If not too serious, the situation will be monitored for a while. Records will be kept as necessary

When a parent /child makes a complaint of a serious nature we will ask them to fill out a sheet outlining the details, naming, dating and if possible giving the time of the incident(s).

Stage 2

Following the gathering of information from class teacher and parents of the child being bullied, the following will happen

  • Identify behaviour and assess frequency and seriousness of the situation. Ask the questions What? Where? When? Who? Why?
  • The principal will advise that the alleged perpetrator’s parents will need to be informed
  • The principal will meet with the parents of the child who is seen to be bullying and then the parents of the victim of the bullying. The children themselves may be required to attend all/part of the meeting
  • The child who is bullying will have their behaviour monitored during the day. All positive behaviours, progress on work and activities will also be noted. The purpose of the report is to focus as much as possible on the positive qualities and to motivate the child away from negative behaviour
  • The child will see from this that the parents/school are working together in his/her interest.
  • A review of these reports will be carried out weekly and depending on the progress made, it may be decided that longer intervals between meetings is sufficient
  • The pupil who is a victim will also meet with the principal and his/her parents .The aim of this meeting is to address emotional needs and devise strategies for a child to deal with the bullying.

The duty of the school is to provide a safe environment for all its children. Should the above interventions and strategies fail and the bullying continue, the next step is

Stage 3

  • If the situation is not resolved rules and procedures for serious misbehaviour as set out in the Code of Conduct will be invoked. (See Code of Conduct)

Preventative Measures

  • Circle time and class discussion on the rights of an individual fairness, equality.
  • Religion time – God’s love teaching us to respect others
  • Posters, leaflets, role-play from time to time as appropriate
  • Teachers, parents, SNAs and other pupils be watchful
  • Encourage “victim” or other pupils to “tell” in confidence as early as possible. Assure them that action will only be taken with their permission
  • Work on building self-esteem of pupils in SPHE, Stay Safe etc.
  • Encourage a friendly atmosphere between pupil/pupil and pupil/teacher
  • Advise a joke is no longer a joke when the other person gets annoyed
  • Encourage the children to say things like “please don’t do that again” or “Do not do that “ or “I don’t like that”

Resources

  • Stay Safe Programme
  • Walk Tall Programme
  • Be Safe
  • Bullying (books by 3) PrimEd
  • Bullying Posters (2 Sets)