POLICY DOCUMENT: NO.16.
POLICY ON BULLYING
- Definition of Bullying.
Bullying is repeated aggression, verbal, psychological or physical abuse conducted by an individual or group against others.
- Types of Bullying.
There are many different types of bullying; these include physical aggression, damage to property, extortion, intimidation, abusive telephone calls, isolation, name calling, etc.
All types of bullying can happen on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes a few types of bullying are used when the bully is engaging in aggressive behaviour. When the behaviour is systematic and ongoing IT IS BULLYING. Bullying can be very subtle or very blatant and can be carried out by one or more individual.
- Bullying – Indications/Symptoms
Pupils who are bullied will feel very insecure and suffer extreme anxiety. Their
suffering is indicated through change in mood and behaviour; the following signs may indicate that a child is being bullied.
- He/She may be anxious about travelling to and from school. – pain in the tummy, asking parents to collect them or changing route of travel.
- Unwillingness to go to school.
- Falling behind in educational performance, loss of concentration.
- Visual signs of anxiety or distress – stammering, crying, not eating, bed-wetting, nightmares or difficulty in sleeping.
- Possessions missing or damaged
- Child shows bruising, cuts or damage to the clothing.
- Closed and reluctant to talk about what is troubling him/her.
These signs do not suggest that a child is being bullied but if these signs are occurring in combination they do warrant investigation in order to establish what is affecting the pupil.
- (A) The Victim
Any pupil, through no fault of their own, may be bullied. Some pupils can unwittingly behave in a very provocative manner, which attracts bullying behaviour. They may be bullied for many reasons. The pupils who are most at risk of becoming victims are those who react in a vulnerable and distressed manner.
(B) The Bully
Many children or adults who bully have ‘learned’ the behaviour, they can be seeking attention or setting out to impress. They are unaware or indifferent to the victim’s feelings. It is not uncommon to find pupils who engage in bullying behaviour are also bullied.
- Bullying Policy in St. Columba’s B.N.S.
(a) To create a school ethos which encourages children to disclose and discuss
incidents of bullying behaviour.
(b) To raise awareness of bullying as a form of unacceptable behaviour with school management, teachers, pupils, parents/guardian.
(c) To ensure comprehensive supervision and monitoring measures through which all areas of school activity are kept under observation.
(d) To develop procedures for investigating and dealing with incidents of bullying behaviour.
(e) To develop a programme of support for those affected by bullying and for those involved in bullying behaviour.
(f) To work with and through the various local agencies in countering all forms of bullying and anti-social behaviour.
(g) To evaluate the effectiveness of school policy on anti bullying behaviour.
Procedures for Noting and Reporting an Incident of Bulling Behaviour.
- School authorities should ensure that there is a procedure for the formal noting and reporting an incident of bullying behaviour and that such a procedure should be seen to be an integral part of the code of behaviour and discipline in the school.
This system should also provide for early detection of signs of indiscipline and/or significant change in mood or behaviour of pupils.
- All reports of bullying, no matter how trivial, should be noted, investigated and dealt with by teachers. In that way pupils will gain confidence in telling. This confidence factor is of vital importance.
- Serious cases of bullying behaviour by pupils should be referred immediately to the Principal and Vice-Principal.
- Parents or guardians of victims and bullies should be informed by the Principal or Vice Principal earlier rather than later of incidents so that they are given the opportunity of discussing the matter. They are then in a position to help and support their children before a crisis occurs.
- Parents/guardians must be informed of the appropriate person to whom they can make their enquiries regarding incidents of bullying behaviour, which they might suspect or they have come to their attention through their children or other parents/guardians.
- It should be made clear to all pupils that when the report incidents of bullying they are not telling tales but are behaving responsibility.
- Individual teachers in consultation with the appropriate staff member should
record and take appropriate measures regarding reports of bullying behaviour in
accordance with the school’s policy and Code of discipline.
- Non-teaching staff such as secretaries, caretakers, cleaners should be encouraged to report any incident of bullying behaviour witnessed by them.
- In the case of a complaint regarding a staff member, this should normally in the first instance be raised with the staff member in question and if necessary, with the principal.
- Where cases, relating to either pupil or a teacher remain unresolved at school level, the matter should be referred to the school’s Board of Management.
- If not solved at Board level, refer to local Inspectorate.
Corrective Action/Sanctions etc
- A continuous stream of minor misdemeanours in class and in the yard shall be considered a sufficiently serious matter to apply the following sanctions if the behaviour persists despite reasoning, reprimand and other forms of disciplinary action as laid down by the Department of Education & Science 7/88.
- All acts of bullying continuous use of foul language and aggressive threatening or violent behaviour shall be considered a major breach of discipline. The sanctions listed below shall be immediately imposed. If one act should be considered sufficiently serious breech of discipline, earlier stages of the sanction code may not be applied and the child’s behaviour brought directly to of the Board of Management. The parents will be informed of this.
- In the following circumstances children will be expected to make amends for
misdemeanours. (a) if a child is found responsible for littering he will be expected to collect the litter. (b) in a case of defacement of property a child will be expected to repair the damages as far as possible. (c) if a child breaks or damages property it will have to be replaced.
- Parents are kept informed about their children on an ongoing basis in St.Columba’s. However, if a child is continuously misbehaving or is involved in a serious breach of discipline, the parents are informed and may be sent for by the teacher or Principal.
Actual Sanction/ Procedure to be Followed:
- Parents are contacted informing them of their child’s misdemeanour. This must be acknowledged by parent/parents where appropriate.
- Should the child’s behaviour persist contact is made a second time requiring the presence of the pupil’s parents at a meeting with both the Principal and Class teacher.
- Further misdemeanours shall be referred to the Board of Management for more serious consideration; or the Board shall give the authority to the chairperson or principal to suspend disruptive pupils, pupils who persistently breach school rules, or where a pupil is involved in a serious breech of discipline e.g. assault, antisocial behaviour etc. The maximum initial period of such exclusion shall be for three days. (Rule 130 Rules for National Schools; Circular 20/90)
If there is no response from the parents to Sanction 2 within a set period of time
the matter is referred directly to the Board.
Appendix For Teachers
- The class behaviour record shall record the children who disrupt class, the nature of the disruption, the date and the action taken.
- The office behaviour record shall record all the serious playground misdemeanours, the children who commit them, the date on which they are committed and the course of action taken.
- If a child misbehaves during break periods his/her name should be noted at the time, he/she should later be called from the line to stand out until his
class is collected and the teacher informed. If the incident warrants detention the child’s name is entered into the detention category for the next day. Detention rules are outlined in the code of conduct.
Just as the children understand why the rules were drawn up, so also must they
have the rules clearly and specifically outlined to them in a consistent and fair
manner, enabling them to understand the expectations of the teachers and
- This policy was completed and made ready for the school plan on November 2010
- This policy was ratified at a meeting of the Board of Management of St. Columba’s B.N.S. on 22nd November 2010
- This policy document is available upon request from the school office.
- This policy was discussed at a staff meeting on December 3rd 2010; staff were advised to familiarise themselves with the policy document.
- This policy will be reviewed by the Board of Management as and when deemed necessary. All amendments/additions will be recorded below.