Anti-Bullying Policy

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(Effective 19th March 2014)

1. In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour
guidelines issued by the National Education Welfare Board, the Board of Management of Le Chéile
ETNS school 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.
(full document available online to view)

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;
    • Effective leadership
    • A school-wide approach
    • A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact
  • Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that
    • build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils
    • explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in
      particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying.
  • Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils
  • Supports for staff
  • Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established
    intervention strategies); and
  • On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.

3. 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(damaging peer
    relationships)
  • Physical aggression
  • Damage to property
  • Gesture bullying
  • Name calling
  • Intimidation
  • Extortion
  • 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 will 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.

4. The relevant teachers for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows: The Class Teacher/The Principal/The Deputy Principal (where the Principal is unavailable)

5. The education and prevention strategies that will be used by the school are as follows:
(See section 6.5 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools and
Appendix 1 – attached)

Dealing with Bullying in General

  • Building a positive school culture and climate in curricular areas, in particular, Social Personal
    Health Education (Relationships & Sexuality Education, Walk Tall & Stay Safe specifically) and
    the Religious Values Education (Learn Together). Building self esteem through celebrating
    individual differences, achievements, acknowledging and rewarding good behaviour and providing
    opportunities for success throughout the curriculum and the school
  • Teachers will explicitly teach what is regarded as bullying behaviour and language and will promote
    and discuss the school’s Anti Bullying Policy with the pupils through various forums eg Circle-time,
    Assemblies etc
  • Useful websites : See Appendix 1
  • Code of Behaviour – consistently tackle discriminatory, threatening and derogatory language
  • Whole School Approach – All staff members actively watch for signs of bullying behaviour and
    foster an atmosphere of respect and friendship
  • Close supervision of the yard by all members of staff
  • Awareness raising – school events such as –Anti Bullying Week; poster/slogan competitions, posters throughout the school
  • Annual review of policy by all members of staff, at staff meeting
  • Principal and Deputy-Principal collate and analyse data from reports at end of each school year
  • Home-School Links – General Parent Meeting(s) on associated topics National
    Parents Council leaflet www.npc.ie. NPC also provide a helpline: 01 8874477

Dealing with Cyber-Bullying

  • Ensure compliance with the school’s Acceptable Use Policy for Internet Use
  • Mark Internet Safety Day each year (February) within school community
  • www.webwise.ie – online collection of Internet Safety resources for school and home use (Ref :
    Primary teachers handbook )
  • Explicit teaching on use of internet with appropriate reference to social media
  • In conjunction with PTA organize talk for parents and keep parent body updated on recent
    developments etc in this area, and encouraging all stakeholders to keep themselves informed and
    vigilant in these matters on an ongoing basis

Dealing with Identity-Based Bullying

  • Any form of bullying related to the characteristics considered unique to a child’s identity, such as
    their race, religion, sexual orientation or physical appearance
  • Explicit teaching of respectful behavior and language towards all members of society.

6. 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 are as
follows:
(See Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post- Primary Schools)

Reporting
The class teacher keeps written records of incident(s)as reported. Where incidents are repeated or
deemed to be of concern the matter is referred to Principal/Deputy-Principal (where the Principal is
unavailable)

Investigating

  • All reports of bullying will be investigated and a record of these investigations will be kept on file in the
    office.
  • All pupils involved will be interviewed separately outside the classroom.
  • Information gleaned will be analysed. Key factors in assessing bullying may include motivation, duration of
    incident(s), evidence and response
  • Primary aim is to resolve issues and not apportion blame.
  • Then a group meeting is held, statements discussed.

Consequences
The Bully is made fully aware of his/her breach of the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy.

Appropriate sanction is imposed as detailed in Code of Behaviour. Sanction has 3 main
purposes, namely to

  • Impress on the perpetrator that what he/she has done is unacceptable
  • Deter her/him from repeating that behavior
  • Signal to the other pupils that the behaviour is unacceptable and deter them from doing it

Sanctions for bullying are intended to hold pupils who bully accountable for their behavior and
ensure that they face up to the harm they have caused and learn from this.

The Victim should be supported and affirmed and assured that:

  1. Their concerns are taken seriously and will be acted upon promptly
  2. Sanctions will be imposed on the perpetrator
  3. Their situation will be monitored

Recording
The class teacher records the incident on the Standard Bullying Behaviour Report Form in the following
circumstances:

  • In cases where he/she considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and
    appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour
    occurred ; and
  • Where the school decides, as part of the anti-bullying policy and in line with the school’s Code of
    Behaviour, that in certain circumstances bullying behaviour must be recorded and reported
    immediately to the Principal or Deputy-principal as applicable

Monitoring & Follow-Up
Meeting of the parties will be scheduled for a later date (2 weeks to a month). Restorative justice
practices will be encouraged.

NOTE :
Parents/Guardians of parties involved will be informed at an early stage of what has happened and the
measures taken. They will be kept informed of any further developments etc…

7. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows
(See Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools)

  • Liasing with parents/guardians
  • Referral to Special Needs teachers for Circle Work, Social Skills, Anger Management, developing
    a Behaviour Management Plan
  • An assessment made as to whether counseling may be needed/recommended or reference to
    National Educational Psychological Service / Health Service Executive
  • Pupils who observe incidents of bullying will be encouraged to discuss them with teachers and
    supported through this process
  • Monitoring by school staff

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 19th March, 2014.

11. This policy has been made available to school personnel, is readily accessible to parents and pupils on request and provided to the Parent Teacher Association. 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, be readily accessible to parents and pupils on request and provided to the Parent Teacher Association. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department. (See Appendix 2)

Signed : Paul Corry (Chairperson of Board of Management)
Date: 19/03/2014 Date of next review: 18/03/2015
Signed: Rosemary Mc Gonagle (Acting Principal)
Date: 19/03/2014

Appendix 1

Practical tips for building a positive school culture and climate

  • Model respectful behaviour to all members of the school community at all times.
  • Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school.
  • Display key respect messages in classrooms, in assembly areas and around the school. Involve pupils in the development of these messages.
  • Catch them being good – notice and acknowledge desired respectful behaviour by providing positive attention.
  • Consistently tackle the use of discriminatory and derogatory language in the school – this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of pupils with a disability or SEN.
  • Give constructive feedback to pupils when respectful behaviour and respectful language are absent.
  • Have a system of encouragement and rewards to promote desired behaviour and compliance with the school rules and routines.
  • Explicitly teach pupils about the appropriate use of social media.
  • Positively encourage pupils to comply with the school rules on mobile phone and Internet use. Follow up and follow through with pupils who ignore the rules.
  • Actively involve parents and/or the Parent Teacher Association in awareness raising campaigns around social media.
  • Actively promote the right of every member of the school community to be safe and secure in school.
  • Highlight and explicitly teach school rules in pupil friendly language in the classroom and in common areas.
  • All staff can actively watch out for signs of bullying behaviour. Ensure there is adequate playground/school yard/outdoor supervision.
  • School staff can get pupils to help them to identify bullying “hot spots” and “hot times” for bullying in the school.
  • Support the establishment and work of the Student Council.

Useful Websites:

www.webwise.ie
www.webwise.ie/WildWebWoods.shtm
www.antibullyingcampaign.ie
www.sticksandstones.ie/
www.staysafe.ie
www.internetsafety.ie/
www.n-somerset.gov.uk/Education/bullying