Anti-Bullying Policy

 

Anti-Bullying Policy, Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, Bishopstown, Cork.

Roll number: 62580U

School Patron: Presentation Brothers Schools Trust

  1. In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the National Education Welfare Board, the Board of Management of Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh 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. The Board of Management has also adopted an Anti-Cyber-Bullying Policy which can be seen as a constituent part of the school’s overall anti-bullying policy, but which attempts to deal more specifically with the particular demands of this especially insidious form of bullying.

Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh is a Catholic boy’s school under the trusteeship of the Presentation Brothers School Trust (PBST). The gospel values of love, justice, freedom, mutual respect and hope underly all interactions within our school community. This policy is situated within the broader context of the School Mission Statement of Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh and the PBST Charter Document.

  1. 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 positive school culture (see Appendix A) and climate which-

  • is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;
  • encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and
  • promotes respectful relationships across the school community;

Effective leadership;

  • A school-wide approach;
  • A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact;
  • 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.
  • Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;
  • Supports for staff;
  • Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and
  • On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.
  1. 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 conduct, by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.

It is also recognised that bullying can take place outside the school premises – such as on the way to and from school and on social network sites. The school reserves the right to deal with such issues when there is a clear connection with the school, and/or a demonstrable impact on its aims, work reputation and/or personnel (both student and staff).

The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:

  • 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.
  • Physical aggression: This behaviour includes pushing, shoving, punching, kicking, poking and tripping people. It may also take the form of severe physical assault. While pupils often engage in ‘mess fights’, they can sometimes be used as a disguise for physical harassment or inflicting pain.
  • Intimidation: Some bullying behaviour takes the form of intimidation: it may be based on the use of very aggressive body language with the voice being used as a weapon. Particularly upsetting can be a facial expression which conveys aggression and/or dislike.
  • Isolation/exclusion and other relational bullying: This occurs where a certain person is deliberately isolated, excluded or ignored by some or all of the class group. This practice is usually initiated by the person engaged in bullying behaviour and can be difficult to detect. It may be accompanied by writing insulting remarks about the pupil in public places, by passing around notes about or drawings of the pupil or by whispering insults about them loud enough to be heard. Relational bullying occurs when a person’s attempts to socialise and form relationships with peers are repeatedly rejected or undermined. One of the most common forms includes control: “Do this or I won’t be your friend anymore”(implied or stated); a group ganging up against one person); non-verbal gesturing; malicious gossip; spreading rumours about a person or giving them the “silent treatment”.
  • Cyber-bullying: This type of bullying is increasingly common and is continuously evolving. It is bullying carried out through the use of information and communication technologies such as text, social media, e-mail, instant messaging (IM), apps, gaming sites, chat-rooms and other online technologies. Being the target of inappropriate or hurtful messages is the most common form of online bullying. As cyber-bullying uses technology to perpetrate bullying behaviour and does not require face to face contact, cyber-bullying can occur at any time (day or night). Many forms of bullying can be facilitated through cyber-bullying. For example, a target may be sent homophobic text messages or pictures may be posted with negative comments about a person’s sexuality, appearance etc.
  • 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. Often name-calling of this type refers to physical appearance, e.g., size or clothes worn. Accent or distinctive voice characteristics may attract negative attention. Academic ability can also provoke name calling. This tends to operate at two extremes. There are those who are singled out for attention because they are perceived to be weak academically. At the other extreme there are those who, because they are perceived as high achievers, are also targeted.
  • Damage to property: Personal property can be the focus of attention for bullying behaviour. This may result in damage to clothing, mobile phone or other devices, school books and other learning material or interference with a pupil’s general belongings. Items of personal property may be defaced, broken, stolen or hidden.
  • Extortion: Demands for money may be made, often accompanied by threats (sometimes carried out in the event of the targeted pupil not delivering on the demand). A pupil may also be forced into theft of property for delivery to another who is engaged in bullying behaviour.

Specific 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
  •  Slagging
  • The production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other materials aimed at intimidating another person
  • Offensive graffiti
  • Extortion
  • Intimidation
  • Insulting or offensive gestures
  • The “look”
  •  Invasion of personal space
  •  A combination of any of the types listed.

 

Cyber:

  • 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/You Tube or on games consoles
  • 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
  • Threats

 

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

 

Relational:

This involves manipulating relationships as a means of bullying. Behaviours include:

  • Malicious gossip
  • Isolation & exclusion
  • Ignoring
  • Excluding from the group
  • Taking someone’s friends away
  •  “Bitching”
  • Spreading rumours
  • Breaking confidence
  • Talking loud enough so that the victim can hear
  • The “look”

 

Sexual:

  • Unwelcome or inappropriate sexual comments or touching
  • Harassment

 

Special Educational Needs & Disability:

  •  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

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.

Allegations of bullying of a student by a teacher or of a teacher by a student should be referred to the Principal.

 

  1. The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying in CSN is (are) as follows:

The class teacher of the student (or the parent/guardian of the student) who makes an allegation of bullying or about whom an allegation of bullying is made is the relevant teacher. Any teacher who witnesses or becomes aware of an incident of bullying is obliged to report it to the student’s/students’ relevant teacher.

When an incident of bullying involves students from more than one class group, two or more relevant teachers (class teachers) may work together to investigate and deal with the bullying incident.

When a teacher other than the relevant teacher (for instance a subject teacher / year head / SNA / non-teaching staff member / member of the senior management team) is made aware of an incidence of bullying, the incident will always be referred, in the first instance, back to the relevant teacher for investigation. The relevant teacher may, however, call upon one or more of these other staff members to assist him/her in investigating the incident. The year head and/or Deputy Principal may be called on to assist in investigating more complicated cases and it is recognised that the guidance teacher may have an important role to play.

Whenever possible, the Principal will only become actively involved in cases where a DES Standard Template for recording Bullying Behaviour (Appendix C) is being completed (that is in cases where the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 days after the bullying behaviour occurred). The emphasis will be on attempting to resolve bullying issues at the ‘lowest level’ possible. Nothing in these procedures, however, precludes the relevant teacher from keeping the year-head or senior management team informed of bullying incidents.

  1. The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber- bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying) that will be used by the school are as follows:
  • A school-wide approach to the fostering of respect for all members of the school community.
  • The promotion of the value of diversity to address issues of prejudice and stereotyping and highlight the unacceptability of bullying behaviour.
  • The fostering and enhancing of the self-esteem of all our pupils through both curricular and extracurricular activities.
  • Pupils will be provided with opportunities to develop a positive sense of self-worth through formal and informal interactions.
  • Whole staff professional development on bullying to ensure that all staff develops an awareness of what bullying is, how it impacts on pupils’ lives and the need to respond to it (prevention and intervention) will be undertaken periodically and as time and resources allow.
  • Professional development with specific focus on the training of the relevant teacher(s) will be undertaken periodically as time and resources allow.
  • School wide awareness raising and training on all aspects of bullying, to include pupils, parent(s)/guardian(s) will be undertaken periodically as time and resources allow.
  • Resource teachers will liaise with the SNAs to offer extra care for more vulnerable students in the school. Where considered appropriate, classes with particular categories of SEN or other potentially vulnerable students will be briefed on the need to protect such students from bullying behaviours.
  • Supervision and monitoring of classrooms, corridors, school grounds, school tours and extra- curricular activities will take place. Non-teaching and ancillary staff will be encouraged to be vigilant and report issues to relevant teachers. Supervision will also apply to monitoring student use of communication technology within the school.
  • Involvement of students with leadership roles (such as the student council, prefects and other responsible students  in contributing to a safe school environment will be encouraged.
  • Anti-Bullying Policies will be included in student journals and anti-bullying information will be displayed publicly in classrooms and in common areas of the school.
  • The school’s anti-bullying policy will be discussed with pupils by their relevant teacher (class teacher), particularly at the start of each school year
  • The school’s anti-bullying policy and the anti-cyber-bullying policy will be published on the school website (www.csncork.ie)
  • Whole school awareness measures will be implemented
  • A culture of telling, with particular emphasis on the importance of bystanders will be implemented. In this way pupils will gain confidence in ‘telling’. It will be made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are not considered to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly.
  •  Pupils will be given instruction in who to tell and how to tell, e.g.:
    • Direct approach to the relevant teacher at an appropriate time, for example after class.
    • Hand note up with homework.
    • Make a phone call to the school or to a trusted teacher in the school.
    •  Send an email to the school office
    • Get a parent(s)/guardian(s) or friend to tell on your behalf.
    • Ensure bystanders understand the importance of telling if they witness or know that bullying is taking place.
  • Parent(s)/guardian(s) will be encouraged to approach the school if they suspect that their child is being bullied.
  • The school’s internet Acceptable Use Policy will take the necessary steps to ensure that the access to technology within the school is monitored.
  • The school’s policies and practices on pupils’ use of mobile phones will be made clear to pupils and signage placed in classrooms and on corridors. See Mobile Phone Policy.
  • Information on supports currently available to gay and transgender pupils will be made available

Implementation of curricula

The SPHE and CSPE curricula will be fully implemented and the school will continue to move towards the full implementation of the RSE Programme at senior level. Specific units dealing with bullying will be taught in the SPHE syllabus at Junior Cycle and in RSE at senior level.

  • Continuous Professional Development for staff in delivering these programmes will continue to be made available as resources and time allow.
  •  School wide delivery of lessons on bullying from evidence-based programmes will take place
  • School wide delivery of lessons on Relational aggression, Cyber, Homophobic and Transphobic Bullying and Diversity and Interculturalism will take place. The school will keep resources related to the SPHE curriculum, and make these resources available.
  • Lessons and programmes to cover issues around personal safety and cyber-bullying will be delivered as available
  • The school will specifically consider the additional needs of SEN pupils with regard to the implementation of this policy and the development of skills and strategies to enable all pupils to respond appropriately.

Links to other policies within Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh

Specific examples of educational and preventative strategies in Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh are listed in Appendix A

  1. The school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are as follows:

All incidents will be investigated: Incidents of bullying behaviour, regardless of the type of bullying or no matter how trivial, which are brought to the attention of the relevant teacher (the class teacher) will be investigated. Where appropriate, the relevant teacher may choose to investigate in cooperation with another relevant teacher (class teacher) or year head. He/she may also choose to consult with the Deputy Principal and/or Principal.

Ensuring a thorough and successful investigation: It must be recognised that the success of any investigation into an alleged bullying incident is often dependent on the quality and detail of the information supplied to the relevant teacher(s) by the student(s) or parent(s) making the allegation. It is generally the case that names must be provided if an investigation is to be progressed effectively. Experience shows that successful investigations often prove impossible in the absence of the names of the alleged perpetrators.

First steps in the investigation: The alleged victim and the alleged perpetrators of the incident (along with other students who may be able to assist in the investigation of the incident) will be interviewed by the relevant teacher(s) and encouraged and facilitated to solve the problem. When adjudged necessary, written statements may be sought from the parties involved.

A written record: In cases where the relevant teacher finds that an incident merits further investigation, the standard CSN Bullying Report Forms (Forms A and B, Appendix B) will always be completed by the relevant teacher. A copy of the Bullying Report Form will be kept by school management in a secure location. Any written statements may be attached to the Forms. In cases where an allegation of bullying has not been substantiated, the completion of the standard CSN Bullying Report Forms (Forms A and B) will not be compulsory though it would generally be regarded as good practice.

Focus will be on resolution rather than blame: The primary aim in investigating and dealing with the bullying incident will be to resolve any issues and to restore as far as is practicable the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame). In some circumstances, the pupil or pupils concerned will have access to a school guidance counsellor.

Parents will be contacted: In any case where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying has occurred, the parents of the parties involved will be contacted to inform them of the matter and the actions being taken will be explained to them.

Situation will be monitored for 20 school days: The relevant teacher will monitor the situation for 20 school days. In most cases, it is expected that this will be the end of the matter.

Use of DES Standard Template for recording Bullying Behaviour: In cases where the relevant teacher considers that the suspected bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 days after the bullying behaviour occurred, the relevant teacher must record the bullying behaviour using the DES standard Template for Recording Bullying Behaviour and a copy provided to the Principal or Deputy Principal. Note: The Template for Recording Bullying Behaviour should also be completed immediately and a copy provided to the Principal or Deputy Principal in cases where the relevant teacher adjudges the bullying behaviour to be particularly serious.

Sanctions: In cases where bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 days after the bullying behaviour occurred and where it has been, therefore, necessary to complete a Template for Recording Bullying Behaviour, a sanction may be imposed by the Principal or Deputy Principal.

Depending on the seriousness of a case sanctions may include:

        a contract of good behaviour

        detention(s)

        school community service

        withdrawal of privileges

        other sanctions as may be deemed appropriate

        suspension

        expulsion

Principal will report to Board of Management: At least once every term, the Principal will report to the Board of Management on the overall number of cases since the previous report where an incident of bullying has led to a DES Standard Template for recording Bullying Behaviour being referred to the Principal or Deputy Principal and he will provide confirmation that all of these cases have been, or are being, dealt with in accordance with the school’s anti-bullying procedures and in compliance with the DES’s Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.

    Board of Management Review of its Anti-Bullying Policy: As part of its oversight arrangements, the Board of Management will undertake an annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation by the school. The standardised DES checklist will be used for this purpose. Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents’ Association. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.

    In cases of parental dissatisfaction: Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parents will have access to the school’s complaints procedures. In the event that a parent has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school will advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children

    1. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows  :
    •   All in-school supports and opportunities will be provided for the pupils affected by bullying to participate in activities designed to raise their self-esteem, to develop friendships and social skills and build resilience.
    • Pastoral care system
    •  Buddy / Peer mentoring system
    • Tutor/Year head system
    • Care team / Student Support Team
    • Group work such as circle time
    •  If pupils require counselling or further supports the school will endeavour to liaise with the appropriate agencies to organise the same. This may be for the pupil affected by bullying or involved in the bullying behaviour.
    • Pupils should understand that there are no innocent bystanders and that all incidents of bullying behaviour must be reported to a teacher

     

    1. Prevention of Harassment

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

     

    1. This policy was reviewed and adopted by the Board of Management on 17th January 2022

     

    1. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists). A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.

    12. This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year. Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website (or where none exists, be otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists).  A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.

     

    Signed by Chairperson of the Board of Management.

     

    Signed by Principal

    Date: 26th September 2022

     

    Appendix A – CSN Anti-Bullying Educational and Preventative Strategies

    Appendix B – CSN Bullying Report Forms – Bullying Report Form A

    Appendix B – CSN Bullying Report Forms – Bullying Report Form B

    Appendix C – DES Template for recording bullying behaviour

    Notification of review of Anti-bullying policy