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ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

Our Anti-Bullying Policy

Definition:
A person is bullied when one or more people intentionally expose them regularly and over time to negative or harmful actions. Bullies are persons who deliberately set out to intimidate, exclude, threaten, verbally harass, damage belongings, damage a person’s reputation, and/or hurt another person or persons deliberately and repeatedly. Bullying is a clear form of harassment.

Rationale:
St. Peter’s School, Clayton is committed to promoting positive relationships and encouraging tolerance between all members of the school community. St. Peter’s School will not tolerate bullying or any forms of harassment, inclusive of physical, verbal or cyber bullying.

St. Peter’s School will endeavour to ensure students and staff can exercise each individual’s right to be involved in their learning and teaching. Every individual has a right to feel safe and secure and protected in St. Peter’s School environment, together with the cyber space.

What Is Bullying? 
“Bullying behaviour abuses an imbalance of power to repeatedly and intentionally cause emotional or physical harm to another person or group of people. Isolated instances of hurtful behaviour, teasing or arguments between individuals would not be seen as bullying" (Torfaen definition 2008) 

Bullying generally takes one of four forms: 
Indirect 
Physical 
Verbal 
Cyber 
being unfriendly, spreading rumours, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding bags or books) pushing, kicking, hitting, punching, slapping or any form of violence name-calling, teasing, threats, sarcasm. 

All areas of internet misuse, such as nasty and/or threatening emails, misuse of blogs, gaming websites, internet chat rooms and instant messaging Mobile threats by text messaging & calls.
Misuse of associated technology , i.e. camera and video facilities 
Although not an exhaustive list, common examples of bullying include: 
Racial bullying 
Homophobic bullying 
Bullying based on disability, ability, gender, appearance or circumstance 

Aims:
To reinforce an understanding within the school community, of what bullying is and that it is totally unacceptable.
To identify bullying within the school, where and when it is occurring and who are the perpetrators and who are the victims.
To encourage everyone within the school community, to be alert to incidents of bullying and the evidence that bullying has occurred. Together with taking on the responsibility of reporting the incident to members of the Leadership Team, Student Wellbeing Team or to any staff member. This reporting must occur whether the person is an observer or a victim.

To ensure that all reported bullying incidents are followed up in an appropriate manner and that suitable support is given to both the victim, the observers and the offenders.
To seek parental and peer group support together with their cooperation at all times.
To reinforce with students, safe behaviour, specifically with regard to preventing cyber-bullying, e.g. ensuring privacy in regard to login details, passwords, email addresses and phone numbers. This is to protect from unsolicited messages. This is inclusive of all staff’s duty of care in the use of the internet and intranet.
To clarify the necessity of keeping any evidence of any kind of unsolicited or inappropriate contacts via the use of the internet, intranet or mobile phones.

Implementation:
Parents, teachers and all of the school community will be made aware of St. Peter’s School’s position on the issue of bullying inclusive of cyber-bullying.
All parents will have access to a copy of the Anti-Bullying Policy including cyber-bullying via the St. Peter’s School website and intranet
St. Peter’s School will promote positive attitudes and behaviour, for example, mutual respect, development of students’ self esteem, confidence, resilience and self help skills to contribute to the eradication of bullying.
Students, staff and parents of the St. Peter’s School all have roles and responsibilities in the prevention of bullying at the school.

The School
The following steps may be taken when dealing with incidents: 
  • If bullying is suspected or reported, the incident will be dealt with immediately by the member of staff who has been approached. 
  • A clear and precise account of the incident will be recorded and given to the head teacher. 
  • The head teacher will interview all concerned and will record the incident 
  • Class teachers will be kept informed and if it persists the class teacher will advise the Student Wellbeing Team
  • Parents will be kept informed 
  • Punitive measures will be used as appropriate and in consultation with all parties concerned 
  • If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted 
Pupils 
Pupils who have been bullied will be supported by: 
  • Offering an immediate opportunity to discuss the experience with a form tutor or a member of staff of their choice 
  • Reassuring the pupil 
  • Offering continuous support 
  • Restoring self-esteem and confidence 
Pupils who have bullied will be helped by: 

  • Discussing what happened 
  • Discovering why the pupil became involved 
  • Establishing the wrong doing and the need to change 
  • Informing parents or guardians to help change the attitude and behaviour of the child 
The following disciplinary steps can be taken: 
  • Official warnings to cease offending 
  • Detention 
  • Exclusion from certain areas of school premises 
  • Minor fixed-term exclusion 
  • Major fixed-term exclusion 
  • Permanent exclusion 
Within the curriculum the school will raise the awareness of the nature of bullying through inclusion ant-bullying teaching and learning programs throughout the school curriculum.

Signs and Symptoms 
Many children and young people do not speak out when being bullied and may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and should investigate if a child: 
  • is frightened of walking to or from school 
  • doesn't want to go on the school / public bus 
  • begs to be driven to school 
  • changes their usual routine 
  • is unwilling to go to school (school phobic) 
  • begins to truant 
  • becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence 
  • starts stammering 
  • attempts or threatens suicide or runs away 
  • cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares 
  • uses excuses to miss school (headache, stomach ache etc) 
  • begins to suffer academically 
  • comes home with clothes torn or books damaged 
  • has possessions which are damaged or " go missing" 
  • asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully) 
  • has dinner or other monies continually "lost" 
  • has unexplained cuts or bruises or shows signs of being in a fight 
  • comes home starving (money / lunch has been stolen) 
  • becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable 
  • is bullying other children or siblings 
  • changes their eating habits (stops eating or over eats) 
  • goes to bed earlier than usual 
  • is unable to sleep 
  • wets the bed 
  • is frightened to say what's wrong 
  • gives unlikely excuses for any of the above 
  • is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone 
  • is nervous and jumpy when a text message or email is received 
These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should always be investigated. 

Roles and responsibilities of Students 
We expect our students to:
  • Be actively involved in the variety of programmes that the school offers such as Bounce Back.
  • Be receptive to and act on Restorative Practices values
  • Develop a sense of respect and understanding of the needs of others.
  • Refrain from becoming involved in any kind of bullying. 
  • Report incidents of bullying involving themselves or others to his or her parents and a member of staff. 
  • Support students who are being bullied. 
  • Develop strategies to deal with bullies i.e. "I don't like what you're doing.", "You don't have the right to do that to me." 

Anyone who has become the target of bullies should:

Not suffer in silence, but have the courage to speak out, to put an end to their own suffering and that of other potential targets.

Roles and Responsibilities of Staff
Staff interaction with students has important consequences for the level of bullying in a school.
We expect our staff to:
  • Foster in our students self-esteem, self-respect and respect for others.
  • Take responsibility to act as a positive role model for the children in their care.
  • Promote anti-bullying programs in the classroom and school. 
  • Listen sympathetically to students who need support and initiate action when required. 
  • Be alert to signs of distress and other possible indications of bullying.
  • Express disapproval of all forms of bullying including cyber-bullying whenever it occurs and follow up appropriately. 
  • Provide strategies for both students and parents to deal with bullying issues.
  • Intervene in general incidents of bullying they may witness in the classroom and playground.
  • Use Restorative Behaviour Management practices and values.
  • Implement a Bounce Back programme in the classroom program
  • Adhere to the guidelines in the Student Behaviour policy and the Staff Handbook.

The Responsibilities of Parents
We ask our parents to support their children and the school by:
  • Taking responsibility to act as a positive role model for their children. 
  • Addressing unacceptable behaviour of their children both at home and at school.
  • Be receptive to and act on Restorative Practices values
  • Taking responsibility to act as a positive role model for their children. 
  • Seeking understanding of bullying instances before reacting.
  • Being sympathetic and supportive towards their children, and reassuring them that appropriate action will be taken.
  • Advising their children to report any bullying to their teacher and explain the implications of allowing the bullying to continue unchecked, for themselves and for other pupils
  • Informing the school of any concerns and allowing the school to follow up those concerns. 

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