Anti-bullying Policy

Anti-Bullying Policy

Killashee Multi D N. S.      

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 Killashee Multi D N.S., Kilcullen Rd Naas Co. Kildare 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.

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 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;

The school acknowledges the right of each member of the school community to enjoy school in a secure environment

The school curriculum is used to form positive and lasting influences which form pupil’s attitudes and values.

The school recognises the need to work in partnership with and keep parents informed on procedures to improve relationships on a school wide basis

The school acknowledges the role of parents in equipping the pupil with a range of life skills to enable them to act appropriately and effectively within social settings

Staff members share a responsibility to act in preventing bullying/aggressive behaviour by any member of the school community

Those in leadership roles within the school are of great importance in stimulating and maintaining a school-wide approach to preventing and tackling bullying

A whole school community approach i.e. school man agent staff parents pupils visiting teachers sports coaches bus drivers etc. is key to dealing with bullying behaviour

It is incumbent on all of the above to ensure that there is a shared understanding as to what constitutes bullying as outlined in this policy.

Effective practice includes prevention and raising awareness across all aspects of bullying and involves strategies to engage pupils in addressing problems when they arise. In particular these strategies need to build empathy respect, resilience and self-esteem in pupils done through a range of iniatives which are particularly relevant to the prevention of bullying such as Stay Safe RSE SPHE Circle Time Drama Friendship week etc.

We will also address the issues of cyber bullying and identity based bullying, through the involvement of the JLO local Gardaí, and the anti-bullying campaign

The school is always mindful of the needs of all pupils with disabilities i.e. SEN.

Good supervision and monitoring systems will facilitate early intervention

Consistent investigation , recording, and follow up of allegations of bullying behaviour will be implemented as outlined in this policy.

A supervision rota is in place for all staff

The Board of Management will ensure that all members of school staff are made aware of and are furnished with a copy of the schools anti-bullying policy to enable them to effectively and consistently apply the policy when required

A consistent and clear approach in dealing with bullying when it occurs is essential to good practice.

The schools anti-bullying policy will be continuously reviewed in the light of incidents of bullying behaviour in the school.

The anti-bullying policy will be included as an agenda item for staff and BOM meetings

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 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 (This list is non exhaustive)

 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
  • 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

 

 

The Relevant Teachers in this school are:

Killashee Multi D N.S.
Principal Julie HughesDeputy Principal Mrs Brennan

Anti-Bullying co coordinator Mrs. Brennan

All class teachers

Any teacher may act as a relevant teacher if circumstances warrant it.

 

Education and prevention strategies

School-wide approach

  • A school-wide approach to the fostering of respect for all members of the school community.
  • The promotion of the value of diversity to address issues of prejudice and stereotyping, and highlight the unacceptability of bullying behaviour throughout the school with social stories through Friendship week ,circle Time ,Stay safe, RSE, Walk Tall, SPHE and specific programmes i.e. Anti Bullying campaign for 3rd to 6th classes

 

  • The fostering and enhancing of the self-esteem of all our pupils through both curricular and extracurricular activities. Pupils will be provided with opportunities to develop a positive sense of self-worth through formal and informal interactions.
  • Whole staff professional development on bullying to ensure that all staff develops an awareness of what bullying is, how it impacts on pupils’ lives and the need to respond to it-prevention and intervention, with the help of ISPCC blue Shield and Anti Bullying Campaign.
  • School wide awareness raising and training on all aspects of bullying through the dissemination of relevant information to include parent(s)/guardian(s) and the wider school community.
  • Supervision and monitoring of classrooms, corridors, school grounds, school tours and extra- curricular activities. Non-teaching and ancillary staff will be encouraged to be vigilant and report issues to relevant teachers. Supervision will also apply to monitoring student use of communication technology within the school, refer to ICT policy and Mobile phone policy
  • Development and promotion of an Anti-Bullying code for the school-to is included in student journals and displayed publicly in classrooms and in common areas of the school.
  • The school’s anti-bullying policy is discussed with pupils and all parent(s)/guardian(s) s are given a copy as part of the Code of Behaviour of the school (every year).
  • The implementation of regular) whole school awareness measures e.g. (half term) as per anti bullying campaign, annual Friendship Week regular school assemblies by principal, and religious anti bullying awareness classes by teachers .
  • Encourage a culture of telling, with particular emphasis on the importance of bystanders. In that way pupils will gain confidence in ‘telling’. This confidence factor is of vital importance. It should be made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are not considered to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly.
  • Ensuring that pupils know who to tell and how to tell, e.g.:
  • Acceptable Internet Use Policy in the school to include the necessary steps to ensure that the access to technology within the school is strictly monitored, as is the pupils’ use of mobile phones, see mobile phone policy
  • Supports currently being used in the school and the identification of other supports available to the school

(a)Anti Bullying Campaign

(b) ISPCC

(c) Barnardos

(d) Naas Child And Family Project

(e) Bully4u

Implementation of curricula

  • The full implementation of the SPHE, the RSE and Stay Safe Programmes, and curricula.
  • Continuous Professional Development for staff in delivering these programmes.
  • School wide delivery of lessons on bullying from evidence based programmes, e.g.Anti Bullying Campaign, Stay Safe Programme, The Walk Tall Programme,
  • Involvement of Community Gardai, to cover issues around personal safety and cyber-bullying

This policy should be read in conjunction with the following school policies

  • Code of Behaviour, Child Protections policy, Supervision of pupils, Acceptable Use policy, Attendance.

 

Procedures for Investigating and Dealing with Bullying 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.
  • Teaching and non-teaching staff such as secretaries, special needs assistants (SNAs),visiting tutors, cleaners must report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher; i.e. class teacher ,anti-bullying coordinator Mrs Brennan, Principal.

Who to tell and how to tell

  • Direct approach to members of staff at an appropriate time, for example after class or at breaks
  • Hand note up with homework
  • Tell a parent or guardian
  • Make a phone call to school or to trusted teacher in school
  • Anti-bully boxes in each class
  • Get a parent/guardian/or friend to tell on your behalf
  • Administer confidential questionnaire to classes 2nd to 6th per half term
  • Ensure bystanders know the importance of telling

Investigating and dealing with reported incidents of alleged bullying

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;
  • When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant teacher should seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why.(see sample questionnaire attached) 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 his/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;

It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident(s) This may include bystanders.

All staff must record any incidents witnessed by them or notified to them and report to relevant class teacher.

All class teachers must keep a written record of incidents, they deem significant, witnessed by them or notified to them in the class incident book.

  • In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying behaviour has occurred,
  • 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, (e.g. the six step approach available from the “Dealing with Incidents” section of the Anti-Bullying Campaign website) are as follows:
  • The School, through the ‘Relevant Teacher’ reserves the right to ask any pupil to write an account of what happened, as part of an investigation.   This will be a standard procedure and does not necessarily imply that a pupil is guilty of misbehaviour.
  • Pupils who are alleged to have been involved in bullying behaviour are interviewed by the ‘Relevant Teacher’ to establish the nature and extent of the behaviour and any reasons for it.   In the event that the teacher makes a professional judgement that they have been involved in bullying behaviour they are asked to sign a binding promise (Pupil Behaviour Promise) that they will treat all pupils fairly, equally and respectfully including the targeted pupil(s) (see attached Pupil Promise sheet)
  • The ‘Relevant Teacher’ does not apportion blame but rather treats bullying behaviour as a “mistake” that can and must be remedied. S/he emphasises that the intention is not to punish perpetrators but to talk to them, to explain how harmful and hurtful bullying is and to seek a promise that it will stop. If that promise is forthcoming and is honoured there will be no penalty and that will be the end of the matter.Pupils who report bullying therefore are not getting others “in trouble” so much as enabling them to get out of trouble into which they may ultimately get if the bullying continued.
  • When an investigation is completed and/or a bullying situation is resolved the ‘Relevant Teacher’ will complete a report,(Incident Report Form and actions taken in Response to incident report sheet) to include the findings of the investigation, the strategy adopted and the outcome of the intervention, as well as any other relevant information.(see attached(Incident Report Form) and (Actions taken in response to incident Report Sheet)
  • If a pupil has signed (Pupil Promise 1) but then chooses to break that promise and continue the bullying behaviour, this can then no longer be considered a “mistake.” In this event parent(s)/guardian(s) will be informed and requested to countersign their daughter/son’s promise. (Pupil Promise 2) Breach of this additional promise by further bullying behaviour is regarded as a very grave matter and a serious sanction may be imposed by the school authorities (See sanctions below).(see attached pupil promise 2)
  • All formal documentation regarding bullying incidents and their resolution is retained securely in the school, by the anti-bullying coordinator.

Sanctions:

  • Where a pupil has been found to be engaged in bullying behaviour, has formally promised to stop and has broken that promise, any of the following sanctions may be imposed:
  • S/he may be required to sign another promise, this time countersigned by a parent/guardian;
  • S/he may be assigned a period of in- house suspension as per code of conduct .Parents informed.
  • Parent(s)/guardian(s) may be invited to a meeting with the ‘Relevant Teacher’ and the Principal. Board of Management will be informed and the pupil may be suspended from the school.
  • The case may be referred to the Board of Management and the pupil may be expelled from the school.

The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows:

  • Ending the bullying behaviour
  • Indicating clearly that the bullying is not the fault of the targeted pupil.
  • After resolution, enabling bullied pupils to complete a victim-impact statement,
  • Helping bullied pupils raise their self-esteem by encouraging them to become involved in activities that help develop friendships and social skills (e.g. participation in group work in class and in extra-curricular group or team activities during or after school).
  • Implementing a “buddy system” in the school (if applicable),
  • Making it clear that bullying pupils who reform are not blamed or punished and get a “clean sheet,”
  • Making it clear that bullying pupils who reform are doing the right and honorable thing and giving them praise for this,
  • Helping those who need to raise their self-esteem by encouraging them to become involved in activities that develop friendships and social skills (e.g. participation in group work in class and in extra-curricular group or team activities during or after school),
  • Informing parents of bodies offering counseling/advice e.g. family Doctor, Naas Child & Family Project, Barnardos,
  • Using learning strategies throughout the school and the curriculum to help enhance pupils’ feelings of self-worth.
  • In dealing with negative behaviour in general, encouraging teachers and parents to focus on, challenge and correct the behaviour while supporting the child,

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
  • Victim to complete Victim Impact Statement (see attached)
  • 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.

 

  • Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parents must be referred, as appropriate, to the school’s complaints procedures;
  • In the event that a parent has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.

 

Recording of bullying behaviour

It is imperative that all recording of bullying incidents must be done in an objective and factual manner. 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
  • Group work such as circle time
  • If pupils require counselling of further supports the school will endeavour to liaise with the appropriate agencies e.g. NEPS to organise same. This may be for the pupil affected by bullying or involved in the bullying behaviour.

 

 

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.

 

 

Signed: ____________________________________       Signed: ___________________________

(Chairperson of Board of Management)                                 (Principal)

Date: ______________                                                              Date: _________________

 

Date of next review: _______________