5. The education and prevention strategies in use in our school are:
A. Educational Strategies: As with most things, prevention of bullying is better than trying to deal with its consequences. Awareness of bullying will be raised for the children by various means, including
- The S.P.H.E. Programme – lessons on Self Esteem; Interpersonal Skills; Conflict Resolution; Passive, Assertive and Aggressive Behaviour.
- Role Play – exploring situations where bullying can occur; what to do if you feel you are being bullied; what to do if you see other people being bullied.
- Fostering a Positive Atmosphere in the School – including respect for others, respect for human diversity, inclusive and respectful language and enhancing self-esteem in the children.
B. Strategies for Children: The following 10 point programme will be discussed at length with the children to ensure that they are fully aware of what constitutes bullying behaviour and what to do if it happens to them or to others. The document will be placed in prominent positions round the school and regularly referred to.
10 Things To Know About Bullying
- Bullying is REPEATED behaviour that is meant to make others feel upset in any way.
- Hitting, pushing, tripping and kicking can be bullying.
- Teasing, calling names, shouting at others, and making fun of others can be bullying.
- Writing things about others, asking others to give you things or do things for you can be bullying.
- Making others feel left out can be bullying.
- If somebody bullies you it is always their fault. It is never your fault.
- If you see somebody else being bullied and you do nothing then you are part of the bullying too.
- If you are being bullied or if you see somebody being bullied you must TELL a teacher or your parents. You will never get into trouble for telling. If you tell, the bullying will STOP. If you do not tell, the bullying will NOT stop.
- Sometimes you can be a bully, even if you don’t mean to be. What you think is just a bit of fun can be very hurtful to another person.
- School is a place where children should feel safe. Remember our golden rule – “Treat other people in the way you would like to be treated”.
6. Procedures for investigating and dealing with bullying are:
A. Teachers will treat seriously all reported incidences of bullying behaviour. Pupils will be encouraged to bring such incidences to the attention of teachers.
B. If the teacher is satisfied that observed or reported incidents can be classified as bullying, then a formal investigation will begin.
C. A teacher will speak to all parties involved. If a group is involved members may be interviewed separately. The teacher will endeavour to discover
- What happened
- When did it happen; has something similar happened in the past; and how long have such incidences been going on.
- Who was involved, both in the latest incident and in any previous incidents.
- Why is this behaviour taking place.
D. If it is established that bullying did take place then the children are asked to
- Think about their behaviour and the effect it is having on the other person
- Admit that their behaviour was wrong
- Undertake not to behave in such a manner again
E. The teacher involved will keep a written record of their investigation. It may also be appropriate to ask the children involved to write an account of the incidents.
F. The situation between the children involved will be monitored to ensure that the bullying is not repeated. If the situation continues to give cause for concern then the following procedures will be followed.
- The parents of the child or children involved will be notified that their child’s behaviour is a cause for concern. A meeting will be arranged between the parents and the teacher involved.
- The parents will be asked to give an undertaking that their children’s behaviour will improve immediately.
- If the situation continues to give cause for concern then sanctions may be appropriate in accordance with the schools Code of Behaviour.
G. At all stages the parents of the victim of bullying will be kept informed as to what has happened and what action has been taken. Practical action will be taken to assist the child to realise
- The bullying is not the fault of the victim
- Steps are being taken to end the bullying behaviour
- The child has a right to feel safe and secure in school
H. It is important to realise that bullying behaviour is a symptom of unhappiness or insecurity in the person doing the bullying. Teachers and parents should work in partnership to ensure that the person doing the bullying is treated as sympathetically as possible, while at the same time ensuring that limits must be set to the bullying behaviour.