- To demonstrate that the school takes bullying seriously and that it will not be tolerated
- To take measures to prevent all forms of bullying in the school and on off-site activities
- To support everyone in the actions to identify and protect those who might be bullied
- To demonstrate all that the safety and happiness of pupils is enhanced by dealing positively with bullying;
- To promote an environment where it is not an offence to tell someone about bullying; or
- To promote positive attitudes in pupils.
WHAT IS BULLYING?
The Children and staff at Riverside Montessori School define bullying as “Being made unhappy by the deliberate and continued actions and or words of others”. At RMS we endeavor to promote good citizenship and make it clear that bullying is anti-social and contrary to our ethos. It is wrong and will not be tolerated.
The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils.
TYPES OF BULLYING
There are different forms of bullying; the four main types include:
Physical: hitting, kicking, throwing things or using implements to cause deliberate injury to another pupil, spitting, deliberately damaging, destroying, taking or hiding another pupil’s belongings (including money).
Verbal: threats, name calling (including sectarian or racist name-calling), teasing, insulting, taunting or disparaging a pupil.
Emotional: being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting, spreading rumours, giving looks, sending unpleasant notes.
Cyber: making nasty or threatening phone calls, or sending nasty or threatening text messages or emails. Posting humiliating, abusive or threatening comments, images, or videos on, for example, chat rooms, instant messenger or social networking sites. (Please see appendix for a detailed list).
If unchecked, bullying can be profoundly damaging to the victim in both the short and longer term, emotionally or physically or both, and can seriously disrupt or impair the capacity to learn or develop.
People react differently to bullying and it may not always be possible to tell if someone is hurt or upset.
The school will take the following steps:
- They will be warned officially to stop the bullying and asked to genuinely apologise
- Following the incident and subsequent handling of it, each case will be monitored to ensure there is no repetition
- Informing the bully’s parents / guardians.
- Parents of the bully will be invited for a conference.
- Arrangements made for the bully to be escorted to and from school premises.
- If bullying continues a fixed-term exclusion will result.
- Continued bullying behaviour will result in a longer (possibly permanent) exclusion.
HOW DO WE STOP BULLYING
The school employs a variety of methods for preventing and tackling bullying. These include
- The service of an independent counsellor
- Policy implementation, training for staff, curriculum development and delivery, pupil buddy systems
- We will encourage children to see that others have the same right as themselves – the right to be an individual.
- We will make it clear that it is alright to admit to being bullied.
- We will use the support of other children to challenge/prevent bullying behavior (the ‘no blame’ approach in which the bully is encouraged to see and help heal the harm done by his/her actions)
- We will encourage the children to adopt a ‘Do as you would like to be done by’ approach to their treatment of others.
- We will ensure that the children realize that they are involved in bullying if they see it happening yet do nothing. There is no such thing as a bystander or observer.
- Use of behaviour reflection sheet
- Class assembly & whole school assembly to enlighten pupils on bullying
- Anti-bullying posters
- Celebrating anti-bullying week
|Emotional (indirect bullying)||Isolation of others by a refusal to co-operate with them and exclusion - being unfriendly, name calling, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures), deliberately excluding from social groups or an activity by refusal to sit next to/ talk to/ work/ co-operate with others and refusal to follow staff instructions to do the above, or malicious rumours, e- mails or text messages, and also exclusion from play/discussions etc. with those whom they believe to be their friends.|
|Physical||Physical harm or its threat including the abuse of personal property – jostling, serious fighting, pushing, kicking, hitting, taking or hiding belongings, punching or any use of violence; deliberately destroying or damaging work or possessions or removing personal property, use of weapons/threatening use of weapon (or any object which could be used as a weapon), intimidation through physical gestures and actions|
|Racist||Bullying directed at individuals of a certain race, culture, ethnicity, language, faith, community, national origin or national status. The distinctive feature of racist bullying is that the victim is attacked not as an individual but as the representative of a family, community or group. This is an area where schools are required to keep statistics about incidents.|
|Sexual||Unwanted or inappropriate physical contact or sexual innuendo.|
|Sexist||Covers a wide range of behaviour from name calling to physical sexual assault. It is the use of sexual language or negative stereotyping on the basis of gender.|
|Verbal||Name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, making snide comments, teasing, humiliating others, threatening others, inciting others to humiliate and threaten others|
|Cyber||Not occurring face to face but rather through electronic means including, but not limited to, social networking sites, internet and intranet sites, email, instant messaging, by mobile phone including through text messages, sexting and phone calls, photographs both real and manipulated and so on|
|Cultural||Focusing on and/or playing off perceived cultural differences or similar.|
|Religious||Attacking faith, belief, religious practice or custom|
|Special Educational Needs and Disability||Remarking upon, drawing attention to, or discriminating against persons with physical disabilities or learning difficulties or other identified special educational needs such as emotional and behavioural disabilities (EBD) and Specific Learning Difficulties (SLD) - (Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dyspraxia).|
|Written||spreading rumours, writing or printing unkind or malicious on paper.|