It is within the ethos of the school to promote an atmosphere that does not tolerate bullying behavior. The code of discipline for Sandford Parish National Schoool reflects on positive behavior. It is the school’s responsibility to provide a safer and secure learning environment. Bullying behavior, by its nature undermines this and must be seen as wrong within the social community of the school.
This policy aims to provide pupils, staff and parents with a procedure for recognizing, preventing and dealing with bullying behavior.
To ensure that the children’s behavior is such as to allow the learning process to operate smoothly without disproportionate disruption from a particular child or group of children.
To ensure the smooth and efficient running of the school.
To ensure that Health and Safety guidelines are adhered to.
To promote positive intra staff relations.
Content of policy
Definition of Bullying
“Bullying is repeated aggression, verbal, psychological, or physical conducted by an individual or group against others (DES guidelines, September 1993).
Bullying may take different forms:
Physical aggression, damage to property, extortion, intimidation, abusive telephone calls, isolation, name-calling, slagging, bullying of school personnel, teacher-behaviour.
It can be short term or continue over years.
Effect of Bullying
Pupils may develop feelings of insecurity and extreme anxiety. Self-confidence may be damaged. Both parents and teaching staff must be alert to changes in behavior as early intervention is desirable.
Indications of Bullying Behaviour
(According to DES Guidelines, September 1993)
Anxiety about travelling to and from school.
Unwillingness to go to school, refusal to attend, mitching.
Deterioration on educational performance, loss of concentration and interest in school.
Pattern in physical illnesses (eg. Headache, stomach ache)
Unexpected changes either in mood or behavior, may be particularly noticeable before returning to school after weekends or after longer school holidays.
Visual signs of anxiety or distress – stammering, withdrawing, nightmares, difficulty in sleeping, crying, no eating, vomiting, bedwetting.
Spontaneous out-of-character comments about either pupils or teachers.
Possessions missing of damaged.
Increased requests for money or stealing money.
Unexplained bruising or cuts or damaged clothing.
Reluctance and/or refusal to say what is troubling him/her.
Those signs do not necessarily mean that a pupil is being bullied. It repeated or occurring in combination those signs should be noted.
Prevention of Bullying Behaviour
The prevention of bullying behavior in Sandford National School is an integral part of the Code of Discipline.
As self-esteem is the single most influential factor in determining behavior, teachers should provide pupils with opportunities to develop a positive sense of worth.
The general atmosphere of the school is of openness, trust and mutual respect. Children should feel able to “tell” if bullying occurs.
The “Stay Safe Programme” published by the Eastern Health Board, is used with 1st and 5th Classes. A large selection of this programme deals with bullying and advice on effective coping strategies is also given. Role-play, stories, problem-solving and discussion are some of the activities in which children participate.
The teaching staff can influence attitudes to bullying behavior in a positive manner through a range of curricular initiatives including English, SPHE, art, drama and PE.
Teachers will encourage pupils to report bullying and thus actively investigate these incidents. Teachers will discuss the schools anti-bullying policies with the pupils.
Serious cases of bullying should be reported to the Principal where they will be officially warned to stop offending. It bullying continues they may be suspended inaccordance with procedure.
Cases which remain unresolved at school level should be referred to the BOM which may recommend DES rules and regulations.
Resources in School about Bullying
· Macmillan Teacher Information Pack
· DES –guidelines on countering bullying behavior in Primary Schools, Septemter 1993
· Sticks and Stones
· Coping with bullying in schools
Roles and Responsibility for development, implementation and reporting
Board of Management/Principal
· The Board of Management through the principal and teaching staff has overall responsibility for the development and implementation of this policy.
· Each class teacher is responsible for following the methodology to prevent bullying behavior in the school.
The success of this policy will be judged by the successful implementation of its stated aims.
This policy is to be reviewed bi-annually or as the Board of Management deem necessary.
Ratification & Communication
Presented to the Board of Management school year 2018/