Combating Bullying and the Action towards Prevention:
Role of Staff
The principal and staff exercise constant vigilance in the matter of misbehaviour. Our aim is to prevent misbehaviour rather than control. Positive behaviour is always recognised, affirmed and sought.
Any complaints of bullying are dealt with quickly, firmly and fairly.
The principal is informed of any instance of bullying.
Awareness of bullying as a form of unacceptable behaviour is addressed in the classroom, and other occasions when the opportunity arises, i.e. during Circle Time, Walk Tall and Stay Safe Lessons.
Pupils are taught skills and encouraged to report any incident of bullying.
Advice for Pupils
Tell yourself that you do not deserve to be bullied, and that it is WRONG.
Be proud of who you are. It is good to be individual.
Try not to show that you are upset. It is hard but a bully thrives on someone’s fear.
Stay with a group of friends/people. There is safety in numbers.
Be assertive – shout NO. Walk away confidently. Go straight to a teacher or
member of staff.
Fighting back makes things worse– So don’t fight back. REPORT to a teacher or parent(s)/guardians instead. If you need support find a friend and both of you speak to the teacher
Generally it is best to tell an adult you trust straight away. You will get immediate support. The teachers will take you seriously and will deal with bullies in a way which will end the bullying and will not make things worse for you.
If you know someone is being bullied:
Take Action: Watching and doing nothing looks as if you are on the side of the bully. It makes the victim feel more unhappy and on their own.
If you feel you cannot get involved, tell an adult immediately teachers have ways of dealing with the bully without getting you into trouble.
Do not be, or pretend to be, friends with a bully.
Advice for Parents
Look for unusual behaviour in your children. For example, they may suddenly not wish to attend school, feel ill regularly, or not complete work to their normal standard, ask for money or begin stealing money.
Always take an active role in your child’s education by enquiring how they
are getting on.
If you feel your child may be a victim of bullying behaviour, inform the school immediately. Your complaint will be taken seriously and appropriate action will follow.
It is important to advise your child not to fight back. It can make matters worse.
Tell your child there is nothing wrong with him/her. It is not her fault that they are being bullied.
Make sure your child is fully aware of the School Policy concerning Bullying, and that they will not be afraid to ask for help;
St. Brigid’s Primary School, Moate does not welcome bullies!
Procedures for Noting and Reporting an incident of Bullying Behaviour
All incidents of bullying, no matter how trivial, will be noted, investigated and dealt with by teachers. In that way pupils will gain confidence in reporting. This confidence factor is of vital importance.
Serious cases of bullying behaviour by pupils will be referred immediately to the Principal.
Parent(s) guardians of victims and bullies will be informed by the Principal earlier rather than later of incidents so that they are given the opportunity of discussing the matter. They are then in a position to help and support their children before a crisis occurs.
Non-teaching staff are encouraged to report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, to the teaching staff.
In the case of a complaint regarding a staff member, this should normally in the first incidence be raised with staff member in question and if necessary, with the Principal.
Where cases, relating to either a pupil or a teacher remain unresolved at school level, the matter should be referred to the School’s Board of Management.
Procedure for Investigating and Dealing with Bullying:
Teachers will take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach when dealing with incidents of bullying behaviour reported by either pupils, staff or parent(s)/guardians. Such incidents will be investigated outside the classroom situation to avoid the public humiliation of the victim or the pupil engaged in bullying behaviour. In any incident of bullying, the teacher will speak separately to the pupils involved, in an attempt to get both sides of the story. All interviews will be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned. Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide useful information in this way:
When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the teacher will seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why 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 will be interviewed individually and the n the individuals are met as a group. Each member will be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure that everyone is clear about what everyone also has said.
If it is concluded that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it will be made clear to him/her how he/she is in breach of the Code of Behaviour and Discipline and try to get him/her to see the situation from the victim’s point of view.
In cases where it has been determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, a meeting or discussion will take place with the parents or guardians of the two parties involved as appropriate to: a) explain the actions being taken and the reasons for them, referring them to the school policy b) discuss ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions taken by the school.
The use of sanctions is an important element in the school code. They are used in a corrective way and are intended to help the child to change and improve his or her behavioural patterns.
The nature of the misbehaviour and the age of the child will determine the strategy
to be employed
Disciplinary Actions and Sanctions to deal with Bullying:
Bullying is a serious misdemeanour and the sanctions applied are the same as those listed below for serious misdemeanours.
Apology to the victim
A written report is kept.
Pupils may be removed from activity if endangering self or others.
Pupil is sent to Principal and made aware that suspension could be a possibility
In cases where it has been determined that bullying behaviour has occurred the Principal informs parents.
Suspension procedures may follow if deemed necessary by the school authorities.