Definition of Bullying
Bullying is repeated aggression, verbal, psychological or physical abuse conducted by an individual or group against others.
- To foster a positive school climate that focuses on respect for the individual as clearly outlined in our school ethos.
- To raise awareness of bullying as a form of unacceptable behaviour with school management, teachers, pupils and parents.
- To encourage children to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour by establishing a climate in which it is safe to tell.
- To ensure comprehensive supervision and monitoring measures through which all areas of school activity are kept under supervision.
- To develop procedures for noting, reporting and investigating incidents of bullying behaviour.
- To work with and through parents in controlling bullying behaviour.
Implementation of the Policy
- Parents are requested to make their children aware of the unacceptability of bullying behaviour and to report such behaviour.
- Each term children are made aware of the unacceptability of bullying behaviour and encouraged to report it.
- Occasionally bullying behaviour is discussed informally in class.
- All reports of bullying, no matter how trivial will be noted, investigated and dealt with by the teachers. All incidents will be conducted with sensitivity and with due rights to all the pupils concerned.
- Serious cases of bullying behaviour will be referred to the Principal.
- The teacher or Principal will inform parents of the victims and those responsible for the bullying behaviour. The matter will then be discussed at a convenient time.
Where cases remain unresolved at school level the matter will be referred to the School’s Board of Management.
By equipping children with a range of social skills, we can help to lessen the risk of being bullied. As a school community we will continue to provide opportunities for those children with low self-esteem, to increase their confidence and self-worth.
By providing opportunities for children to discuss issues such as;- the need for rules, dealing with conflict, the right to be different, the right to be ourselves, an anti-bullying climate will be developed. Fostering a sense of responsibility will also serve to promote good social behaviour. Everybody is equally valued and we treat others as we would like them to treat us. Silence allows people to suffer. We learn to speak out when we know we should.
Evaluation and Review
Teachers, pupils, parents and Board of Management have a role to play in monitoring the effectiveness of school policy on this issue. Parents may wish from time to time, to make suggestions that they feel would improve the existing approach.
‘Bullying’ in any form will not be accepted or tolerated. Each teacher has responsibility for the maintenance of discipline within his / her classroom and most instances of unacceptable behaviour will be dealt with at this level.
Some of the following strategies may be used in solving the problem of bullying.
- Reasoning with pupils involved – get the full story from the bully, victim, witnesses and others involved.
- Reprimand, including advice on how to improve relationships, apologies, forgiveness and making a new start.
- Temporary separation of bully from friends and child being bullied.
- Communication with the parents of the bully and the victim.
- Informing the chairperson of the Board of Management.
In the case of gross inappropriate behaviour, if the parents do not give an undertaking that the pupil will behave in the future, the pupil may be suspended for a temporary period in accordance with terms of Rule 130 (5) of the Rules for National Schools.
Policy will be reviewed every three years or if or when the need arises.