1.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 Christ the King G.N.S. 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 Christ the King G.N.S. does not tolerate or condone bullying behaviour of any form or at any level of their school community. The Board of Management is committed to ensuring that all members of the school community, pupils, staff and parents, are enabled to act effectively to deal with bullying behaviour. This policy guides action and organisation within the school for preventing and responding to bullying behaviour. 2. 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;
b) Effective leadership which- · supports a school culture that celebrates difference · strives to engender an ethos under which bullying is unacceptable · adopts fair, firm, clear and consistent disciplinary measures
c) A school-wide approach; · a positive school-wide attitude and involvement can assist considerably in countering bullying behaviour
d) A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact; · the school will put in place systems to ensure that all relevant members of the school community have a shared understanding of what constitutes bullying behaviour and the impacts of bullying
e) Implementation of education and prevention strategies 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
f) Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils; · appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour
g) Supports for staff; · The Board of management will ensure that members of school staff are familiar with the school’s anti bullying policy in order to enable them to effectively and consistently apply the policy. · The Board of management will also ensure that temporary and substitute have sufficient awareness of the school’s code of behaviour and anti- bullying policy
h) Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies) · The school will adopt a clear and consistent approach to dealing with bullying · The school will ensure consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour
i) On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy. · The school will make provision for periodic examination of the prevention and intervention strategies in place
3. 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:
· physical aggression · intimidation · isolation · name calling · writing abusive notes · electronic aggression (Cyberbullying) making abusive phone calls, sending abusive text messages · damage to property · theft of property · extortion · 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. · 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.
Bullying can be related to: · race · religion · culture · special educational needs or disabilities · health conditions or appearance · sexual orientation or sexist bullying · home circumstances Cyber - bullying This type of bullying is carried out through the use of information and communication technologies: · 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’ · Picture/video – clips via mobile cameras – images sent to others to make the victim feel threatened or embarrassed · 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 · Emails – threatening or bullying emails, often sent using a pseudonym or somebody else’s name · Chat room bullying –menacing or upsetting responses to children or young people when they are in a web based chat room · Instant messaging – unpleasant or upsetting messages sent while children conduct real time conversations online using Microsoft messenger, yahoo chat or similar tools · Bullying via websites – use of defamatory blogs(web logs), personal websites and online personal ‘own space’ sites such as You Tube, 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.
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.
4. The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows: · the class teacher · the principal Any teacher may act as a relevant teacher if circumstances warrant it
5. Prevention of Bullying · The Board of Management of Christ the King G.N.S. is responsible for ensuring that all members of the school community are enabled to deal effectively with bullying. The B.O.M. is committed to providing time and resources for the implementation of the policy. The B.O.M. will ensure that proper supervisory and monitoring measures are in place to prevent bullying and to deal with incidents appropriately as they arise. · The school staff will foster an atmosphere of friendship, respect and tolerance. Children’s self-esteem will be developed through celebrating individual differences, achievements, acknowledging and rewarding good behaviour and manners and providing opportunities for success throughout the curriculum and school. Teachers will help pupils to develop empathy by discussing feelings and trying to put themselves in the places of others. Relationships with pupils will be based on mutual respect and trust so that pupils will have confidence in the school staff. Teachers will be vigilant, respond sensitively and caringly to pupils who disclose incidence of bullying and investigate all disclosed incidents of bullying. · Class teachers will discuss the school’s anti-bullying policy with the pupils and use behavioural management strategies which focus on problem solving and enable pupils to take an active role in finding a solution to problems. · The formal curriculum of the school will also be used to educate all pupils against bullying behaviour. Ø Alive-O programme Ø Stay Safe programme Ø Walk Tall programme Ø Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) Ø Circle Time discussions (SPHE) Ø Drama (Role playing) Ø ICT (Webwise) · Pupils are expected to be tolerant and to have mutual respect for each other. Pupils should report incidents of bullying to their parents and teachers with confidence. · An anti-bullying committee will be set up to support pupils’ welfare throughout the school. · A friendship day will be organised annually to promote positive behaviour and to raise awareness of bullying behaviour. · Speakers will be invited to address pupils, staff and parents in relation to cyber – bullying · School will take part in Internet Safety Week held annually · Anti-bullying posters will be designed to promote positive behaviour and to raise awareness of bullying behaviour. · Parents should encourage positive behaviour and discourage negative behaviour both at home and at school. They should encourage their children to solve difficulties without resorting to aggression. They should encourage their children to share, to be kind, to be caring and to be understanding towards others. Parents should watch out for signs and symptoms that their child is being bullied or is bullying others and trust their instincts. Parents should discuss the anti-bullying policy with their daughter(s). Parents should also support the school in its efforts to prevent and treat bullying. · Parents will be provided with a list of internet safety tips from www.webwise.ie so that they can supervise, monitor and educate their daughter (s) on internet safety.
6. Procedures for investigating 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
Reporting bullying behaviour
· Any pupil or parent(s)/guardian(s) may bring a bullying incident to any teacher in the school. · Bullying incidents should be reported to the class teacher and/or the supervising teacher for investigation. This reporting may be done by the pupil, parent or a friend verbally or in written form. · Evidence of abusive written notes, abusive text messages, screen shots of abusive emails or posts should be presented to the school if possible. · All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying, will be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher. · Teaching and non-teaching staff such as secretaries, special needs assistants (SNAs), bus escorts, caretakers, cleaners must report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher
Investigating and dealing with incidents: · In investigating and dealing with bullying, the (relevant)teacher will exercise his/her professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved · Parent(s)/guardian(s) and pupils are required to co-operate with any investigation and assist the school in resolving any issues and restoring, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved as quickly as possible · Teachers should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach. · Where possible incidents should be investigated outside the classroom situation to ensure the privacy of all involved · All interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned. Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful information in this way · It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident(s) · When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant teacher should seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why. This should be done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-aggressive manner · If a group is involved, each member should be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved should be met as a group. At the group meeting, each member should be asked for her account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statements · Each member of a group should be supported through the possible pressures that may face them from the other members of the group after the interview by the teacher · In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the parties involved should be contacted at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken (by reference to the school policy). The school should give parent(s)/guardian(s) an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school and the supports provided to the pupils · Where the relevant teacher has determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to her how she is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get her to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied · 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, her parent(s)/guardian(s) and the school
Follow up and recording
· In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed the relevant teacher must, as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following factors into account: - 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 · Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved should be arranged separately with a view to possibly bringing them together at a later date if the pupil who has been bullied is ready and agreeable.
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 · All staff must keep a written record of any incidents witnessed by them or notified to them. Consideration needs to be given to where the records will be made e.g. incident book. All incidents must be reported to the relevant teacher · While all reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher, the relevant teacher must keep a written record of the reports, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding same
Formal Stage 1-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 which will assist his/her efforts to resolve the issues and restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved.
Formal Stage 2-Appendix 3 (From DES Procedures) The relevant teacher must use the recording template at Appendix 3 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. Once a term the principal will provide a report to the Board of management setting out the overall number of bullying cases reported to the principal by means of the recording template and confirmation that all of these cases are being dealt with in accordance with the school’s anti – bullying policy
7. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows: The recipient of bullying will immediately be offered the opportunity to talk about their experience and the relevant incidents with their teacher or principal. The pupil will be assured that the school community will help support them. · Monitoring procedures will immediately be put in place to safeguard them. All staff members will be made aware of any bullying behaviour in the school so that they can monitor the pupils on the yard and around the school. · Help and support will be given to both the bully and the recipient. The bully will be helped to modify their behaviour. · If the bullying is prejudice-driven, relevant circle times and class discussions can be organised to challenge such prejudice. · Incidents of bullying may be used as opportunities for reinforcing class and school rules as well as the anti-bullying policy of the school. · Follow –up meetings may be arranged to access progress and/or restore relationships
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].
11. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website (or where none exists, is otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists). A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.
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.
Practical tips for building a positive school culture and climate The following are some practical tips for immediate actions that can be taken to help build a positive school culture and climate and to help prevent and tackle bullying behaviour. · Model respectful behaviour to all members of the school community at all times. · Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school. · Display key respect messages in classrooms, in assembly areas and around the school. Involve pupils in the development of these messages. · Catch them being good - notice and acknowledge desired respectful behaviour by providing positive attention. · Consistently tackle the use of discriminatory and derogatory language in the school – this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of