POLICY ON BULLYING AND ANTI-BULLYING STRATEGY
Bullying is problem which many children encounter
and one which is of great concern to parents and teachers.
It is a problem which requires co-operation between schools
and parents in seeking solutions. It can be physical, verbal
or emotional and may be carried out by groups or by an individual.
To help Parents/Guardians prevent bullying An
Anti-Bullying Strategy is outlined next. The Board of
Management of Mother of Fair Love School considers bullying
to be very serious issue and has adopted a Policy on Bullying
to deal with this issue. This Policy of Bullying is
Mother of Fair Love School
Anti Bullying Strategy.
Children need to have the confidence to say
"No" in a good assertive tone of voice if they are approached
for lunch or possessions. Children who are confident in their
abilities and in their appearance are also more likely to
shrug off a taunt or a jibe. They also need to know that they
have the right to tell an adult about a problem. Bullies will
select children whom they feel can be kept quiet.
Building self esteem and a quiet sense of confidence
is equally important for the child who is a bully, as it is
for the potential victim.
(A) If your child tells
you she/he is being bullied:
1. Stay calm - don't over react no matter what
you are feeling. Your reaction may convey a sense of anger
or disappointment to the child and could be counter-productive.
Children who are bullied often fell a sense of failure and
guilt. Your response should convey that they are not at fault
and that this is a problem which can be overcome.
2. Teaching the child that she/he has the right
to say "No" and to carry him/herself in a confident way will
deal with many situations. Establish the right to tell and
talk about the problem.
3. Talk to the teacher. Bullying is a covert
activity and it can be difficult for teachers to detect. Teachers
need the support of parents in tacking this problem. If the
bulling is physical - don't tell your child to hit back. Schools
cannot encourage children to engage in violent behaviour and
conflicting advice will only confuse the child. Also, telling
4. It is important to tell children that some
situations are impossible and that safety must come first.
In a situation where a gang attacks for money or possessions
the child should be advised that it would be better to give
the money, get away and tell. It would be important in a situation
like this that the child be praised for using common sense.
5. Some children attract bullies because of
poor personal hygiene or habit. If this is the case it can
be easily overcome with help from you.
Possible signs that a
child is a victim of bullying:
§ May begin to
do poorly at school.
§ May have unexplained
bruises or scratches and may be evasive when questioned about
them. § May begin to bully other
children in the family.
§ May be unwilling
to go to school or to walk to and from school.
§ May come home
regularly with books or clothes torn or missing.
(B) If your child is the
It is important to acknowledge that fact and
help him/her overcome this. One of the most difficult problems
which schools face in tackling bullying is getting the child
and parents to acknowledge the fact that they are involved
in such behaviour. Why do some children become bullies? This
can happen for many reasons.
§ They may be bullied
themselves by parents or siblings at home.
§ They may feel
inadequate and lack confidence in themselves.
§ They may feel
under pressure to succeed at all costs.
§ They may find
it difficult to socialise with their peers and so pick younger,
more vulnerable children.
§ They may be very
spoilt and go totally unchallenged at home.
§ Some children
become involved in bullying by acting as bystanders or supporters
of a bully. If this is the case it must be pointed out that
they are equally guilty of bullying.
What can you do?
1. Try to find out if this is a temporary response
to something else in the child's life i.e. a new baby, a bereavement,
stress at home.
2. Talk to your child - try to get your child
to understand how the victim feels - help your child to socialise
by inviting other children to pay on outings etc. Don't respond
by being a bully yourself. Hitting and verbal attach will
make the situation worse. You will need to deal with this
problem over a period of time.
3. Talk to the child's teacher - you will find
teachers willing to help. It is important that you and the
teacher take the same approach to the problem.
4. Bullies often suffer from a lack of confidence.
Don't compare your child's achievement with others. Praise
helpful, kind behaviour at every opportunity.
5. Children should be taught to accept differences
in others. If your child always seems overly critical of others
help by making positive remarks about other children.
6. You may need help if your child has a serious
behavioural problem - the school or your G.P. can refer him/her
to the Child Guidance Clinic if necessary.
MOTHER OF FAIR LOVE SCHOOL
POLICY ON BULLYING
(In accordance with "Guidelines on Countering
Bullying Behaviour in Primary and Post-Primary Schools" Dept.
of Education 1993)
Definition: Bullying is repeated aggression
- verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual
or group against others.
(i) The school promotes qualities of social
responsibility, tolerance and understanding among all its
members, both in school and out of school.
(ii) The school acknowledges the uniqueness
of each individual and his or her worth as a human being.
(iii) The school acknowledges the right of each
member of the school community to enjoy a secure learning
(iv) The school disapproves of vulgar, offensive,
sectarian or other aggressive behaviour by any of its member.
(v) Staff members share a collegial responsibility,
under the direction of the Principal teacher, to act in preventing
bullying or aggressive behaviour by any member of the school
(vi) Parents and Guardians have a crucial role
to play in the promotion of good behaviour, and in developing
a sense of self-respect and respect for others, in their children.
(vii) Co-operation and communication between
home and school are essential elements in preventing and dealing
Teachers and other staff members can influence
attitudes to bullying behaviour in a positive manner through
a range of curricular initiatives and through other activities.
(i) Most ordinary classroom interactions provide
an opportunity to promote good behaviour and to discuss with
the children strategies for dealing with bullying behaviour.
(ii) The Stay Safe/Safety Skills Programme for
Children with Learning Difficulties will also be used to address
the problem of bullying behaviour.
(iii) Staff members will use other areas of
pupil's interaction in school where appropriate.
(iv) From time to time, the school will organise
awareness sessions on discipline in general and on countering
bullying behaviour in particular.
(v) The school will explicitly encourage staff
members, children and parents to report instances of bullying.
(vi) As self-esteem is the single most important
factor in determining behaviour, staff members will use every
opportunity to reward children for effort and improvement.
Procedures for Noting and Reporting an incident
of Bullying Behaviour
(i) Each teacher will have special forms of
recording incidents of bullying behaviour.
(ii) Each report of bullying behaviour will
be investigated and dealt with, initially, by class teacher.
(iii) Each report of serious bullying behaviour
will be referred immediately to the Principal.
(iv) Parents will be notified of reports of
serious bullying. This applies to parents of victims as well
as parents of the bully.
(v) Parents or Guardians who wish to report
incidents of bullying may do so by contacting either the school
Principal of the class teacher.
(vi) In the case of a complaint regarding a
staff member, this should normally in the fist instance be
raised with the staff member in question and if necessary,
with the Principal. In the case of a complaint against the
Principal, this should be raised with the Principal and, if
necessary, with the Chairman of the Board of Management.
(vii) Where cases, relating to the pupil or
a staff member remain unresolved at school level, the matter
shall be referred to the Board of Management.
(viii) If not resolved at Board level, the matter
will be referred to the Department of Education Inspector.
Following consultation with Parents and Staff
this Policy of Bullying was adopted at a meeting at
the Board of Management which took place on 17th December