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Anti-Bullying Policy

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Presentation Primary School
Fermoy
Phone (025)31550

Anti-Bullying Policy

The role of the school is to provide the highest standard of education for all its pupils as well as enhancing their self-esteem. A stable secure learning environment is an essential requirement to achieve this goal. Bullying behaviour, by its very nature, undermines and dilutes the quality of education and may have a negative impact on the child’s wellbeing.

1. School Statement on Bullying:
School Policy:
Bullying is always regarded as a serious offence. All forms of bullying are unacceptable. Written records of all bullying behaviour may be kept. All
incidences of bullying behaviour, observed by staff or reported by children
or parents/guardians will be investigated.

2. Definition of Bullying:
Bullying (verbal, psychological or physical) is a repeated behaviour which is intended to inflict hurt. This behaviour may be conducted by an individual or group against another or others.

Aggressive behaviour may not necessarily be bullying behaviour. However, when the behaviour is systematic and ongoing
it is bullying.

3. Types of Bullying:
(i) Physical Aggression: Any form of physical contact which is unwelcome.
(ii) Damage to property
(iii) Extortion
(iv) Intimidation
(v) Abusive Telephone Calls / Text messages / email
(vi) Isolation / Exclusion
(vii) Verbal Abuse
(viii) Name Calling

4. Bullying of School Personnel:
Bullying of school personnel by pupils or their parents/guardians by means of
physical assault, damage to property, verbal abuse, threats to their families or
any form of intimidation will not be accepted, and will be acted upon.


5. Effects of Bullying:
Pupils who are being bullied may develop feelings of insecurity and extreme anxiety and thus may become more vulnerable. Their self-confidence may be damaged with a consequent lowering of their self-esteem. While they may not
talk about what is happening to them, their suffering may be indicated by changes of mood and behaviour. Bullying may have serious consequences. It is therefore important to be alert to changes in behaviour, as early intervention is desirable.


6. Why do children bully?
There are many reasons why a child may become a bully. Children may:
Be bullied themselves by parents or siblings at home
Feel inadequate and lack confidence in themselves
Feel under pressure to succeed at all costs
Find it difficult to socialise with their peers and so pick on younger more vulnerable children
Be very spoilt and go totally unchallenged at home
Some children become involved in bullying by acting as bystanders or supporters of a bully. If this is the case it must be pointed out that they are also guilty of bullying.


7. What do you do if your child is being bullied?
Parents should adopt a calm unemotional approach. Comprehensive details of what has been happening should be sought from the child. Write down the details with a record of dates and times if possible. Assist the child in giving a full account by seeking answers to Who? When? Where? What? Why?

Remember – Stay calm, don’t over react no matter what you are feeling. Your reaction could convey signs of anger or disappointment to the child and could be counter-productive. Children who are bullied often feel a sense of failure and guilt. Your response should convey that they are not at fault and that this is a problem that can be overcome.

Children should have the confidence to say “No” in an assertive tone of voice. Train them in this response and it will help them to deal with many situations. Children who are confident in their abilities and their appearance are also more likely to be able to stave off a taunt or jibe or insult.

Some children are bullied due to poor personal hygiene or habits, such cases can be easily overcome with help from parents. Sometimes parents tell a child to “Hit Back” at the bully. Often this can make matters worse. Teaching children to be confident and to tell is a far better approach.

In a situation where a gang attacks for possessions, valuables or money, the child should be advised that it is better to give the article or money, to get away safely and to tell. It is important in some situations to praise the child for using common sense and putting safety first. Tell your child that if they see someone else being bullied they should still tell. There are no innocent bystanders in bullying.

Talk to the teacher and Principal:
Often bullying is a covert activity and difficult to detect. If teachers are to deal with the problem, they need the support of the parents in tackling it and achieving solutions. Parents and teachers need to work together in order to eliminate bullying behaviour.

8. What you do if you think your child is a bully:
One of the most difficult problems which schools face in tackling bullying is getting the child to acknowledge the fact that they are involved in such unacceptable behaviour.

If your child is a bully it is very important that you acknowledge that fact, so as to help him/her overcome the problem and to change to acceptable behaviour.

Remember that bullying can be unlearned. Be grateful to the person who informed you so that you have the opportunity to help your child behave in a more positive manner. A person who bullies is not a happy person.

The long-term outlook for children who bully at school is not encouraging. They are more likely to be involved in anti-social activities and are less likely to enjoy successful relationships or maintain a full-time job. Essentially, if one feels good, one doesn’t go picking on others. Therefore it is essential to find out why your child is bullying. Find out if there is a problem. Find out if the child is responding to something else in the child’s own life.

Don’t respond by being a bully yourself, it will only make the situation worse. Make it clear that it is wrong to bully. Explain how the victim feels. Try to get your child to fully understand and appreciate how the victim feels and to see the victim’s point of view. Those who bully often suffer from lack of confidence. Don’t compare your child’s achievement with others, but praise helpful behaviour at every opportunity. Teach your child to accept and tolerate differences in others.

Particular help may be needed if your child has a serious behavioural problem. The school or your GP can arrange for this to be provided through the Child Guidance Clinic.

9. Reporting Bullying:
Any child may approach any member of staff at any time if they feel they are being bullied.

Children should report to members of staff if they are aware of other children being bullied.

Parents should contact the school if they feel their child is being bullied or involved in bullying.

10. School Procedure:
When a complaint of bullying is made or when bullying behaviour is observed we have a duty to respond and the following procedure will be followed:

Investigate the complaint by interviewing the children named and any others who may be able to provide information. This may take the form of an oral interview or a request for a written account of any incidents. In their own interest children will be asked not to disclose the details of the interview to their peers. However at all times they will be encouraged to discuss everything with their parents.

If we feel that there is evidence of bullying the following strategies will be used:
(a) Parents will be informed.
(b) A written record will be made and retained in the school files.
(c) If considered necessary the Board of Management will be informed.

11. Depending on the seriousness of each case some or all of the following sanctions will be applied:
(a) Reasoning with the pupil and reprimand including advice on how to
behave.
(b) Temporary separation from peers. The child may be requested to use
this period to contemplate and write about their own feelings and the feelings of others on bullying.
(c) Loss of privilege
(d) Suspension
(e) In very serious cases it is within the power of the Board of Management
to exclude a pupil for a period or ultimately to expel a pupil. (Rule 130
Rules for National Schools)
(f) In exceptional serious cases where beatings or weapons are involved the
Gardai may have to be contacted.

The aim of the school will always be
reconciliation and resolution of conflict.


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