Assumption Secondary School
1. In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of Assumption Secondary 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.
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) A positive school culture and climate which
· is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusively;
· encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and
· promotes respectful relationships across the school community;
See Table A (6.1.5.Procedures): Key elements of a positive school culture and climate, & Appendix 2: Practical tips for building a school culture and climate.
(b) Effective leadership
(c) A school-wide approach
(d) A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact
(e) Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that-
· build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and
· explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying;
(f) Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils
(g) Supports for staff
(h) Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and
(i) 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,
· 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 should 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. Additional information on different types of bullying is set out in Section 2 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.
Examples of bullying behaviours (this list is not exhaustive)
General behaviours which apply to all
· Harassment based on any of the nine grounds in the equality legislation
e.g. sexual harassment, homophobic bullying, racist bullying etc.
· Physical aggression
· Damage to property
· Name calling
· The production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other
materials aimed at intimidating another person
· Offensive graffiti
· Insulting or offensive gestures
· The “look”
· Invasion of personal space
· A combination of any of the types listed.
· Denigration: Spreading rumours, lies or gossip to hurt a person’s reputation
· Harassment: Continually sending vicious, mean or disturbing messages to an individual
· Impersonation: Posting offensive or aggressive messages under another person’s name
· Flaming: Using inflammatory or vulgar words to provoke an online fight
· Trickery: Fooling someone into sharing personal information which you then post online
· Outing: Posting or sharing confidential or compromising information or images
· Exclusion: Purposefully excluding someone from an online group
· Cyber stalking: Ongoing harassment and denigration that causes a person considerable fear for his/her safety
- Silent telephone/mobile phone call
- Abusive telephone/mobile phone calls
- Abusive text messages
- Abusive email
- Abusive communication on social networks e.g. Facebook/Ask.fm/Twitter/
- Abusive website comments/Blogs/Pictures
- Abusive posts on any form of communication technology
Identity Based Behaviours
Including any of the nine discriminatory grounds mentioned in Equality Legislation (gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community).
Homophobic and Transgender
· Spreading rumours about a person’s sexual orientation
· Taunting a person of a different sexual orientation
· Name calling e.g. Gay, queer, lesbian...used in a derogatory manner
· Physical intimidation or attacks
Race, nationality, ethnic background and membership of the Traveller community
· Discrimination, prejudice, comments or insults about colour, nationality, culture, social class, religious beliefs, ethnic or traveller background
· Exclusion on the basis of any of the above
This involves manipulating relationships as a means of bullying. Behaviours include:
· Malicious gossip
· Isolation & exclusion
· Excluding from the group
· Taking someone’s friends away
· Spreading rumours
· Breaking confidence
· Talking loud enough so that the victim can hear
· The “look”
· Unwelcome or inappropriate sexual comments or touching
Special Educational Needs, High achievers,
· Name calling
· Taunting others because of their disability or learning needs
· Taking advantage of some pupils’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to recognise and defend themselves against bullying
· Taking advantage of some pupils’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to understand social situations and social cues.
· Mimicking a person’s disability
· Setting others up for ridicule
4. The relevant teachers for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows: (see Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools):
Any teacher may have to act as a relevant teacher if circumstances warrant it.