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Counter Bullying Policy

Counter Bullying Policy

Glenamaddy Community School

 

In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the guidelines of the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB), the Board of Management of Glenamaddy Community School has adopted the following Anti-Bullying Policy within the framework of the school’s Mission Statement and Code of Good Behaviour (www.glenamddycs.ie). This policy and the school’s approach to bullying is consistent with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools.

Mission Statement of Glenamaddy Community School

Glenamaddy Community School dedicates itself to providing a holistic education where the potential and uniqueness of each student is fostered and celebrated. With our educational partners we strive to create a caring environment of mutual respect, where each individual is cherished and nurtured to a personal, intellectual and moral maturity. We find our inspiration in the Christian message of faith, hope and love.

      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 DES definition of bullying: (Please refer to Appendix 1)

  • Deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying.
  • Identity-based bullying
  • Physical Aggression
  • Damage to Property
  • Extortion
  • Name Calling or Slagging
  • Bullying of School Personnel
  • Cyber Bullying

Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with in accordance with the school’s Code of Good Behaviour.

 

Key Principles of Best Practice

The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of people. It is committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:


 

A Positive School Culture

Promoting a school culture which is based on inclusivity and is welcoming of difference and diversity. Encouraging people to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a comfortable environment.

Effective leadership

Fostering a school-wide approach to Anti-Bullying led by the Board of Management, Principal, Deputy Principal, Year Heads and our Pastoral Care Team.

A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact

Developing a shared understanding of what constitutes bullying behaviour. The manner in which our school communicates this shared understanding amongst the school community depends on the age and maturity of those concerned.

Implementation of education and prevention strategies

Creating awareness-raising measures that build empathy, respect and resilience in students.  

Supervision of students

Providing supervision of students to promote a caring environment and minimise negative and bullying behaviour.

Supports

Liaise with the school community as per the relevant circulars and procedures for complaints and grievances. Supporting staff in the implementation of the Anti-Bullying Policy and in dealing with reported incidents of bullying.

Recording, investigation and follow up of bullying incidents including the use of established intervention strategies.

Prevention and Education Strategies

Glenamaddy Community School takes proactive steps to reduce the incidence of bullying and raises awareness by providing the following:

Social and Personal Awareness Week

The Pastoral Care Team in association with the Parents’ Association organises our Personal & Social Awareness Week during the first term, with speakers and workshops on such topics as anti-bullying, mindfulness, substance abuse, health issues, road safety and social media usage*

Annual Retreats

Our Pastoral Care Team organises an annual retreat for 1st and 2nd year groups. As part of our curriculum all students attend. *

Information Evenings

Where feasible, talks for parents, guardians and students by guest speakers are organised to update the school community on how to deal with bullying and the misuse of social media.  Details of similar talks being held in the wider community will be brought to the attention of parents/guardians and students as appropriate.


 

Anti-Bullying Information

Information is freely available from our Pastoral Care Team, Chaplain, Career Guidance Counsellor and Teachers of Religion, SPHE and Wellbeing. The ‘Get With It’, Guides to New Media/Cyberbullying/Social Media/Filtering software’ are available to download from www.hotline.ie.

(Click on internet safety on the home page menu and then click on safety tips).

Anti-Bullying Awareness Posters

Anti-Bullying posters are displayed throughout the school and other relevant anti-bullying information is posted on the Chaplain’s noticeboard.

First Year Questionnaire

All 1st Year students and parents are surveyed to monitor how students are settling into secondary school and what, if any difficulties they are encountering. Their Year Head and Chaplain follow up on the findings in order to ensure a smooth transition.

From 2021, this will be an online survey.

‘Let Us Know’

Students and parents are encouraged to seek help and advice when they have concerns about bullying. This openness is promoted at all levels, first to sixth year.

Switch Off the Phone

As per the Code of Good Behaviour, students are permitted to use mobile phones, cameras, or other electronic devices in school with the permission of a teacher or supervising adult.  Students can be contacted by parents, and parents can be contacted by students by using the school phone at Reception.

Anti-Bullying Practice and Procedures

The following procedures are used for noting, reporting, investigating and following-up incidents of bullying behaviour. These procedures form the established chain of referral in Glenamaddy Community School:

  • Glenamaddy Community School is a ‘Let Us Know’ school. Staff operate in loco parentis. Students are encouraged to approach any staff member to discuss a bullying concern.
  • Bullying incidents may be reported to any member of staff. The incident will be recorded using the template issued by the Department of Education & Skills (Appendix 2).
  • The Principal/Deputy Principal/Year Head will investigate the report and make a referral to the Chaplain/Guidance Counsellor if necessary.
  • The Principal/Deputy Principal/Year Head/Chaplain/Guidance Counsellor will meet with the relevant parties separately and record all information. If it is deemed that bullying has taken place, the Principal/Deputy Principal/Year Head will decide on the course of action to be taken. Parents may be contacted at this time.
  • Relevant parties involved in the incident may be brought together with the consent of both parties where a reconciliation, mediation and restorative justice approach will be used.


 

Reconciliation

Informal reconciliation between the parties is a preferred option. Following discussion, it is often possible for the parties involved to reconcile and ‘shake hands’

Resolutions may involve the parties involved agreeing ‘to leave each other alone’

Mediation

Mediation through the facilitation of the Pastoral Care Team may be sufficient to resolve the problem. The advantage of mediation for young people is that it involves them in problem solving at their own level. It gives them a sense of ownership of the solution, rather than it being imposed. A crucial consideration in mediation is that a young person who has been bullied feels confident enough to face the person who has caused them suffering. In assessing the situation, the guiding principle should be that mediation should not make matters worse and that bullying should stop.

Restorative Justice

Restorative justice is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders, as well as the involved community. Instead of punishing the offender, victims take an active role in the process, while offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions, to repair the harm they have done by apologising. Restorative justice that fosters dialogue between victim and offender shows the highest rates of victim satisfaction and offender accountability.

  • Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils

After reconciliation, mediation or restorative justice the Pastoral Care Team will observe the relationship between bully and victim and reinforce that the student continues to ‘Let Us Know’

If the problem remains unresolved, the parents/guardians will be informed of the situation. Parents of both students will be encouraged to speak with their children and give practical support in coping with the situation.

Prevention of Bullying and Harassment

The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under the Equal Status Acts and with the support of the school community take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified in the Act, i.e. gender (including transgender), civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveler community.

Adoption and Availability of the Anti-Bullying Policy

This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on 23rd June 2014.

The policy was reviewed and updated in November 2017.

The policy was reviewed and updated in October 2021.

Incidents of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with our Anti-Bullying Policy and our Code of Good Behaviour. The policy is available on the school website www.glenamaddycs.ie, through the school office and is also included in the student's homework journal.

The policy will be reviewed by the Board of Management annually.


 

Appendix 1:

In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:

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 DES definition of bullying:

  • Deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip, and other forms of relational bullying i.e., bullying that involves trying to hurt a peer or damage that peer’s standing within a particular group. An example of this type of bullying is public social humiliation.
  • Identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of a minority group and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.
  • Physical Aggression: This includes pushing, shoving, tripping, punching, kicking, poking or ‘jocking’.
  • Damage to Property: Intentional interference or damage to another person’s property, clothing, schoolbooks, equipment, locker etc. This may involve defacing, breaking, stealing or hiding property.
  • Extortion: Demands for money, lunches, equipment or pressuring another to steal or interfere with property is a form of bullying.  Sometimes, this tactic is used with the sole purpose of incriminating the victim.
  • Name Calling: Persistent name calling directed at the same individual(s), which hurts, insults, or humiliates should be regarded as a form of bullying behaviour.
  • Slagging: This behaviour sometimes refers to the good-natured banter, which goes on as part of the normal social interchange between people. However, when it extends to personal remarks repeatedly made at the one individual about appearance, clothing, personal hygiene, family etc., it then assumes a form of bullying.
  • Bullying of School Personnel: Repeated bullying of school personnel by means of physical assault, damage to property, verbal abuse, threats to people’s families etc.
  • Cyber Bullying - Cyberbullying may be defined as “bullying by means of electronic devices or networks.”

Advice for parents and students on Cyber-Bullying

If you or your son/daughter is on Snapchat/Instagram/Social Media we recommend the following:

  • They should have a limited amount of time per day on social media.
  • You should have the password to the account and monitor it.
  • Specifically forbid SimSimi and similar sites where anonymous comments can be made
  • Smartphones & modern-day mobile phones allow internet access and can mean that your child is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by those who wish to make contact.
  • If your son/daughter has such a phone, we recommend that they do not have access to it at night.
  • Make sure you and your child know how to respond if they feel threatened, harassed, or bullied while online.

Some useful sites to protect against cyber bullying:

www.internetsafety.ie  Office for Internet Safety (OIS) provides comprehensive information, analysis and advice on all aspects of Internet safety

www.webwise.ie  Safer Internet Ireland Awareness Centre

www.pieta.ie – a free, therapeutic approach to people who are in suicidal distress and those who engage in self-harm.

www.antibullyingcentre.ie

Advice on cyberbullying for students

Bullying is very serious. It can make you feel scared, upset, and embarrassed. You might feel like it will never end. No one has the right to make you feel this way. We want you to know there are things you can do to make it stop.

Knowing how to take a screenshot or screengrab is a useful tool in countering cyber bullying as it saves evidence and could be used to have the bully’s account suspended or shutdown. 

Follow these key steps:

  • While on a site containing the abuse, press the print screen button (PrtSc SySRq) at the top of the laptop keyboard. Open a Word document, right click and paste. Save this document with your personal files, it may be shown to parents/guardians or teachers, emailed to the site administrators or if necessary, passed on to the relevant authorities.
  • On an iPad, press and hold down the top or side button, immediately click the Home Button, then release the top or side buttons. In IOS 11, a thumbnail of your screenshot appears in the lower left corner of your device.

REMEMBER: You do not have to put up with bullying and it’s good to talk.

*Please refer to Appendix 3 for information regarding practice during Covid Restrictions.


Appendix 2: Glenamaddy Community School Bullying Incident Report Form

1. Details of student allegedly being bullied:

Name Year Class
     

2. Details of student(s) engaged in alleged bullying behaviour:

Name Year Class
     
     

3. Source of bullying concern/report (tick relevant box(es)):

Student being allegedly bullied   Teacher  
Other student  

Other (please specify)

____________________

 
Parent/Guardian  

4. Location of alleged incidents (tick relevant box(es)):

School yard   School bus  
Classroom   Internet sites/text messaging  
School toilets  

Other (please specify)

__________________

 
School corridor  

5. Name of person(s) who reported the bullying concern: ___________________________________

6. Type of bullying behaviour (tick relevant box(es)):

Physical aggression   Cyber bullying  
Damage to property   Slagging  
Isolation/Exclusion   Gossip  
Name calling   Other (specify)  

Appendix 2; Page 1/2

7. Where behaviour is regarded as identity-based bullying, indicate the relevant category:

Gender

(including transgender)

Civil status Family status

Sexual

Orientation

       
Religion Age Disability Race

Membership

of the Traveler community

         


8. Brief description of alleged bullying behaviour and impact:

 

9. Details of any witnesses:

 

10. Details of actions taken:

 

Signed: __________________________                Date Submitted: ______________

Appendix 2; Page 2/2


 

Appendix 3. Glenamaddy Community School

 

*Due to ongoing Covid 19, running Social and Personal Awareness Week as normal has not been feasible.

*For 2021 – 2022, we will run a programme for 2nd Years entitled “FUSE Anti-Bullying & Online Safety Programme” This is in conjunction with the Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre (ABC) & Dublin City University (DCU)

*A module dealing with resilience will be given to all 1st Years by the Chaplain.

Glenamaddy Community School is part of the Planet Youth Study. Information relevant to our locality is shared with 1st Year students and parents.

Adopted by:       ____________________________  on   ____________________

On behalf of the Board of Management, Glenamaddy Community School

Adopted by:     ____________________________ on   _______________________

On behalf of The Parent’s Association

Adopted by:   _____________________________ on ________________________

On behalf of The Student Council

Adopted by

Version Number  Approval Date  Description of Revision  Originator  Approved by 
Draft 1  19/02/22 Quality Committee  BOM

 

 

Glenamaddy Community School, Church Street, Glenamaddy, Via Castlerea, Co. Galway, F45KF50

 

Telephone +353(0)94 9659315 | Fax +353(0)94 9659354 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.