Part of Code of Discipline Policy
Bullying can be defined as repeated aggression whether it is verbal, psychological or physical, which is conducted by an individual or a group against others. It is behaviour which is intentionally aggravating and intimidating. It includes behaviour such as teasing, taunting, threatening, hitting, exclusion or extortion by one or more pupils against a victim.
Bullying behaviour thrives in an atmosphere of uncertainty and secrecy in which the victim often feels a sense of hopelessness. Isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour, while not to be condoned, cannot be described as bullying. At Scoil Mhuire na mBuachailli we will adopt a zero tolerance approach to bullying, in that a softly, softly approach will not be taken. We have found that this has worked well in our school and that reporting of bullying is protected and rewarded by this approach.
Indications of bullying
- Anxiety about attending school.
- Deterioration in educational performance.
- Pattern of physical illness.
- Unexplained changes in mood or behaviour.
- Visible signs of anxiety or distress.
- Possessions missing.
- Increased requests for money.
- Unexplained bruising.
- Reluctance to say what is troubling him/her.
These are all signs of a variety of problems as well as bullying.
Procedures for noting and reporting incidents.
- If parents have concerns about their child being bullied they should inform the class teacher.
- Reports of bullying either from parents or Staff members should be recorded. The teacher should investigate and act appropriately. If the teacher suspects that bullying occurred and the Principal/Deputy Principal should be informed.
- Parents of those involved should be notified and given an opportunity to discuss the matter by the Teacher.
- It should be made clear that children reporting incidents of bullying are acting responsibly.
- A record should be kept of how the matter was handled and the outcome. When the class moves on the succeeding teacher should be informed of any problems that existed.
Procedures for investigating and dealing with bullying.
- Calm, unemotional, but a no-nonsense direct approach.
- Incidents are best investigated outside of the classroom situation.
- Teachers should speak separately to the children involved.
- Members of a group bullying should be met separately and as a group.
- Parents should be informed where it has been determined that bullying has occurred.
- Check with the child/parents of the child bullied later to check that no further difficulties have arisen.