ANTI BULLYING POLICY​

 

Purpose

The aim of this policy is to ensure that the School is a supportive and safe environment where every member of the community has the right to feel safe and protected. They also have the right to experience positive and respectful relationships between all members of the school community. All adults in this community need to be especially aware of their behaviour, as they are the role models for our children.  This is particularly important to the role of the teacher. By empowering members of our community, we hope to achieve a safe learning environment that respects and values individual differences.  Therefore the purpose of this policy is to

  • Promote a positive culture where bullying is unacceptable

  • Ensure the right of respect from others, the right to learn or teach, and the right to feel safe and secure in the School community

 

Policy Statement

 

The School does not accept bullying. By providing guidelines on how bullying can be dealt with, and through education and support to members of the school community, matters of inappropriate behaviours that constitute bullying will be minimized.

 

Our aim is to promote acceptance and positive behaviour in our School community by:

  • Promoting positive behaviours and respect for individual differences

  • Providing on-going and age appropriate education focused on self-esteem, assertiveness, resilience and peer-support

  • Reinforcing within the school community that no form of bullying is acceptable

  • Encouraging the school community to be alert to signs and evidence of bullying and to have a responsibility to report it to staff whether as an observer or victim

  • Ensuring that all reported incidents of bullying are followed up and that support is given to the victim, perpetrator and all other individuals involved.

  • Seeking parental and peer group support cooperation at all times.

  • Negative behaviour not deemed to be bullying will be addressed under The School Discipline Policy and Procedures.

 

Scope

 

This policy applies to all members of the The School community: students, staff, parents/carers and Board members. School staff in particular have a responsibility to support students at the School in cases of bullying behaviours.

 

What is bullying?

 

A clear definition for bullying is required so that everyone in our School has a common starting point. This will facilitate consistent and clear expectations. Good practices can only be built on a clear and common understanding of the nature and effect of bullying.  It is widely accepted that negative and repeated behaviours toward a person or a group that are intended to ‘hurt’ or put them at risk is bullying. 

 

More definitions include:

“Bullying behaviours are about an imbalance of power where there is deliberate intent to cause harm or distress. These behaviours can be verbal, social, psychological or physical. They impact on the lives of the person/people being bullied, those doing the bullying and those looking on.”

Peer Support Foundation (1998)

Bullying is when someone, or a group of people, upset or create a risk to another person’s health and safety – either psychologically or physically – or their property, reputation or social acceptance on more than one occasion. (NSW Department of Education Definition)

 

The terms ‘bully’ and ‘target’ are short-hand terms that we use because most people understand through the use of these terms the dynamic that we are addressing. We do not seek to negatively label individuals who are involved in bullying. We acknowledge that individuals that bully others are not bullies in every situation. We similarly acknowledge that targets of bullies are not targets in every situation.

 

At our school we recognize that bullying:

  • Devalues, isolates and frightens the targets of bullying

  • Affects an individual’s ability to achieve

  • Has long term effects on those engaging in bullying behaviour, those who are the subject of bullying behaviours and the on-lookers or bystanders

We believe that teachers, students, parents, caregivers and members of the wider school community have a responsibility to work together to address bullying with a structured approach.

 

Types of Bullying

 

There are four main types of bullying:

  • Direct physical bullying – could include hitting, tripping, and pushing or damaging the property of others.

  • Direct verbal bullying – could include name calling, insults, homophobic or racist remarks, verbal abuse.

  • Indirect bullying – harder to recognise and often carried out behind the bullied student’s back. It is designed to harm someone’s reputation and/or cause humiliation. Indirect bullying could include:

  • Lying and spreading rumours

  • Playing nasty jokes to embarrass and humiliate

  • Mimicking

  • Encouraging others to socially exclude someone

  • Damaging someone’s social reputation and social acceptance

  • Cyber bullying – could include being cruel, tormenting, humiliating or harassing to others by sending or posting harmful material or engaging in other forms of social aggression using technology such as, but limited to the internet, social networking sites, blogs, emails, interactive and digital technologies, mobile phones and instant messaging. Cyber bullying includes but is not limited to:

  • Flaming: online fights using electronic messages with angry or vulgar messages.

  • Harassment: Repeatedly sending nasty, mean and insulting messages.

  • Denigration: Posting or sending gossip /photos / video or rumour about a person to damage his/her reputation or social relationships.

  • Outing: Sharing someone’s secrets or embarrassing information or images / video online.

  • Exclusion: Intentionally and cruelly excluding someone from an online group.

  • Cyber Stalking: Repeated, intense harassment and denigration that includes threats or creates significant fear.

  • Psychological Bullying

  • This is when someone, or a group of people, repeatedly or intentionally uses words or actions which cause psychological harm. Intimidating someone, manipulating people, stalking a person are all examples of psychological bullying.

  • Sexual Bullying

  • This might include unwanted sexual inferences, touching or brushing against others, writing/drawing/commenting about someone’s body sexually, sexual name calling etc.

 

 

Clarification of Bullying

Other forms of hurtful behaviour are often mistaken for bullying. Upsetting and harmful things happen but not all of them are bullying.  These may include

  • Mutual Arguments or disagreements are upsetting but usually everyone involved wants to solve the problem and there is not power imbalance. This is not bullying.

  • Unless a person deliberately and repeatedly tries to cause someone distress, excludes them or encourages others to dislike them; not liking someone is not bullying.

  • Single acts of meanness, spite, conflict, rejection, exclusion, physical harm and emotional aggression hurt people and can cause great distress. However, these things are not examples of bullying unless someone is repeatedly and deliberately doing it to the other person.

The School Anti-Bullying Strategies

 

The role of teachers at Maarif school is to support, nurture and direct students towards socially accepted behaviours.  Children and young adolescents make mistakes and they will also test boundaries.  As they learn about relationships and explore their own powers and their impact on others, they may display behaviours that fall within the bullying definition.  It is the responsibility of the school to take the appropriate steps to modify those behaviours in a positive manner with due regard for the circumstances, age and developmental stage of the student. This means that not every instance of reported bullying will result in punitive consequences. As such the school has:

  • Emphasis on preventative and early intervention well being programs that focus on the areas of social skills and peers support and promote resilience, life skills and protective factors.

  • Curriculum to include open discussion on anti-bullying strategies.

  • At the commencement of the School year each classroom teacher should clarify with their students, the School Policy on bullying and the Discipline.

  • The Discipline Policy and Procedures and Anti-Bullying Policy and Procedures will be stored on the School web page and staff handbook so it’s available for staff viewing at any time.

  • Approaches that encourage students to report incidents and assist them in adopting strategies to deal with bullying.

Teacher Obligations

 

Teachers should:

  • Assist students who report negative behaviours that may not be bullying, with options to address the current situation

  • Openly discuss and provide strategies to students to deal with others who are upsetting or hurting them

  • In cases of bullying, counsel the bully about their behaviour and its impact

  • Counsel the target providing guidance and strategies to deal with bullying behaviours targeted towards them (perceived or otherwise)

  • Conduct ‘circle time’ and other classroom activities to address bullying behaviours

  • Provide mediation with both the bully and the target

  • Consistently reinforce positive behaviour

  • Encourage and model tolerance and acceptance

  • Be observant of signs of distress or suspected incidents of bullying

  • Confer with parents if necessary

  • Make efforts to remove opportunity for bullying through proactive playground duty

  • Communication between staff members, the names of children requiring attention during playground duty times

  • Arrive at class on time and supervise children in and out of the building

  • Take steps to help victims and remove sources of distress

  • Listen and respond to all complaints of bullying

  • Record children’s unacceptable behaviour

  • Report incidents of behaviour to the appropriate senior staff member, and then the Principal.

 

Student Obligations

  • Refuse to be involved in bullying situations

  • Report incidents to the appropriate teachers, either as an observer or a victim

  • Behave in a way that reflects their understanding of the Discipline Policy and Procedures

 

Parent Obligation

 

  • Take an active interest in their child’s school life to be aware of any problems

  • Encourage their child to report and deal with the problem themselves

  • Encourage their child to be verbally assertive rather than retaliate with action

  • Communicate to the school if they suspect their child is being bullied

 

 

Contact Numbers for Support Services Available to the School Community.

Crisis Support:

  • Emergency: 000 (Mobile 112)

  • Child Protection Helpline: 132 111

  •  Lifeline: 131 114

  • Kids Help Line: 1800 55 1800

  • Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

  • Salvo Care Line (Salvation Army): 1300 36 36 22

  • For advice, personal support and referral to social services:

  • Salvation Army Youth Line: 1300 363 622

  • Poisons Information Help Line: 1300 302 980

  • Domestic Violence Line: 1800 656 463

  • Rape Crisis Centre: 1800 424 017

  • Police Contacts:

  • St George Police Station: 02 8566 7499

 

Family Helplines:

  • Family Relationship Advice Line: 1800 050 321

  • Parent Line: 1300 1300 52

  • Child Abuse Prevention Service: 1800 688 009

  • Health Direct Australia (after hours GP help line): 1800 022 222

 

Support Services:

  • Cybersmart: 1800 880 176

  • Salvo Care Line (Salvation Army): 1300 36 36 22

  • Legal Aid Youth hotline: 1800 101 810

  • Family Planning NSW 1300 658 886

Counselling:

  • Family Relationship Advice Line (Anglicare): 1800 050 321

  • Centacare: 9390 5366

  • Credit Help Line: 1800 007 007

  • Family Information Service: 1800 049 956

  • Gay, Lesbian & Transgender: 1800 184 527

  • Interrelate: 1300 736 966

  • Lifeline: 13 11 14

  • Lone Parent Family Support Service: 9251 5622

  • Parent Help Line: 1300 1300 52

  • Relationship Australia (NSW): 88748008

  • Salvation Army:9331 6000

  • Salvo Crisis Line & Suicide Prevention: 8736 32 95

 

 

Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines:

 

Discipline Policy and Procedures

Student Welfare and Pastoral Care Guidelines

 

 

© 2020 International Maarif Schools of Australia