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Anti-Bulling Policy

 

Rationale:

“The role of the school is to provide the highest possible standard of education for all its pupils. A stable, secure learning environment is an essential requirement to achieve this goal. Bullying behaviour, by its very nature, undermines and dilutes the quality of education and imposes psychological damage.”

(Department of Education and Skills)

Mission Statement:
Moyne College is a non-denominational, co-education post-primary school and is committed to providing a service of educational excellence, which facilitates the holistic development of every student to enable them to realise their true potential in a safe, caring atmosphere.
Aims:
To create a positive school culture and climate that is inclusive and welcoming of difference.
To create a school climate which is open, supportive and encourages pupils to disclose and discuss bullying behaviour.
To raise awareness amongst the entire school community (including school management, teachers, pupils, parents, volunteers etc.) that bullying is unacceptable behaviour.
To ensure comprehensive supervision and monitoring through which all aspects of school activity are kept under observation.
To provide procedures for investigating and dealing with bullying behaviour.
To provide procedures for noting and reporting bullying behaviour
To develop a programme of support for those affected by bullying behaviour and for those involved in bullying behaviour.
To work with and through the various local agencies in countering all forms of bullying and anti-social behaviour.

To facilitate ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the school’s anti-bullying policy
Objectives:
Create a No-Bullying Ethos
Raise Awareness
Encourage Reporting
Direct Teaching Programmes
Support the Students who have been bullied
Focus on By-standers
Change Bullying Behaviour
Identify Hot –Spots and Prime Times

Definition:
Bullying consists of repeated inappropriate behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical action conducted by an individual or group against others.
Isolated incidents of inappropriate behaviour towards others, which should not be condoned, can scarcely be described as bullying. However, when the behaviour is systematic and ongoing it is bullying.
Types of Bullying
Pupil Behaviour
Physical Aggression:
This behaviour is more common among boys than girls. It includes pushing, shoving
punching, kicking, poking and tripping people up. It may also take the form of severe physical
assault. While boys commonly engage in ‘mess fights’, they can often be used as a disguise
for physical harassment or inflicting pain.
Damage to Property:
Personal property can be the focus of attention for the bully; this may result in damage to
clothing, school books and other learning material or interference with a pupil’s locker or
bicycle. The contents of school bags and pencil cases may be scattered on the floor. 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 victim not promptly "paying up". Victims’ lunches, lunch vouchers or lunch
money may be taken. Victims may also be forced into theft of property for delivery to the bully.
Sometimes, this tactic is used with the sole purpose of incriminating the victim.

Intimidation:
Some bullying behaviour takes the form of intimidation: it is based on the use of very
aggressive body language with the voice being used as a weapon. Particularly upsetting to
victims can be the so-called ‘look’ – a facial expression which conveys aggression and/or
dislike.

Abusive Telephone Calls:
The abusive anonymous telephone call is a form of verbal intimidation or bullying. The
anonymous phone call is very prevalent where teachers are the victims of bullying.

Isolation:
This form of bullying behaviour seems to be more prevalent among girls. 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. It may be accompanied by
writing insulting remarks about the victim on whiteboards or in public places, by passing
around notes about or drawings of the victim or by whispering insults about them loud enough
to be heard.

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; most name-calling of this type refers to
physical appearance, e.g. ‘big ears’, 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; first, there are those who
are singled out for attention because they are perceived to be slow, or weak, academically.
These pupils are often referred to as ‘dummies’, ‘dopes’ or donkeys’. At the other extreme are
those who, because they are perceived as high achievers, are labelled ‘swots’, ‘brain-boxes’,
licks’, ‘teachers’ pets’, etc.

Slagging/Jibbing:
This behaviour usually refers to the good-natured banter which goes on as part of the normal
social interchange between people. However, when this slagging extends to very personal
remarks aimed again and again at the one individual about appearance, clothing, personal
hygiene or involves references of an uncomplimentary nature to members of one’s family,
particularly if couched in sexual innuendo, then it assumes the form of bullying. It may take
the form of suggestive remarks about a pupil’s sexual orientation.

Bullying of School Personnel
Bullying of school personnel by means of physical assault, damage to property, verbal abuse,
threats to people’s families’ etc.
Cyber Bullying
Access to technology means that cyber bullying can happen around the clock and the student’s home may not be a safe haven from such bullying. Students are increasingly communicating in ways that are often unknown to adults and free from supervision. The nature of these technologies means digital content can be shared and seen by a very wide audience. While cyber bullying often takes place at home and at night, the impact can also be felt in school.
Moyne College has developed a policy that focuses directly on the issue of cyber bullying.

Teacher Behaviour:-

A teacher may, unwittingly or otherwise, engage in, instigate or reinforce bullying behaviour in
a number of ways:-

Using sarcasm or other insulting or demeaning form of language when addressing pupils;
making negative comments about a pupil’s appearance or background;

Humiliating directly or indirectly, a pupil who is particularly academically weak or outstanding,
or vulnerable in other ways;

Using any gesture or expression of a threatening or intimidatory nature, or any form of
degrading physical contact or exercise.

Statement on Bullying:
Every Student in Moyne College has the right to enjoy his/her learning and leisure time free from intimidation.
Students are encouraged to support each other by reporting ALL instances of bullying!
BULLYING WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
Action to be taken immediately.
All reported incidents of bullying will be recorded.
Programmes are put in place to support the bully and the bullied.

Moyne College will endeavour to provide education on bullying to all students in the following manner:
Through S.P.H.E (Social, Personal and Health Education) students will engage in modules which incorporate bullying information and learning as well as the inter-related areas of belonging and integrating, communication, conflict, friendship personal safety and relationships.
The Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) programme

In addition to this Moyne College will adopt prevention strategies which will include awareness raising such as:
Random Acts of Kindness Week
Posters distributed on notice Boards throughout the school including LGBT posters.
Prevention and awareness raising of cyber-bullying. That will educate students on appropriate online behaviour, how to stay safe while on-line.
Parents information night on the subject of bullying
Big Brother Big Sister Mentoring Programme, where a 5th Year Student(s) are paired with a 1st Year student(s) at the start of the academic year. Training is provided for the mentors on how to be a good mentor. Those involved in the programme are expected to engage in all activities including an overnight trip. The programme lasts for the academic year.

Pastoral Care
Moyne College has an excellent pastoral care system in place, and reports of all incidents will be filtered through the chain of support:
Fellow Student/Mentor
Class Tutor
Year Head
Care Team
Deputy Principal
Principal


In addition to the above chain of support Moyne College may deem it necessary to refer students to the

Guidance Counsellor
Tearmann
School Completion Project Worker
Outside Agencies, NEPS, CAHMS, Counselling Services.


Effects of Bullying
Pupils who are being bullied may develop feelings of insecurity and extreme anxiety and thus
may become more vulnerable. Self-confidence may be damaged with a consequent lowering
of their self-esteem. While they may not talk about what is happening to them, their suffering
is indicated through changes in mood and behaviour. Bullying may occasionally result in
suicide. It is, therefore, important to be alert to changes in behaviour as early intervention is
desirable.

Indications of Bullying/Behaviour – Signs and Symptoms
The following signs/symptoms may suggest that a pupil is being bullied:-
anxiety about travelling to and from school – requesting parents to drive or collect them, changing route of travel, avoiding regular times for travelling to and from school;
unwillingness to go to school, refusal to attend, mitching;
deterioration in educational performance, loss of concentration and loss of enthusiasm and interest in school;
pattern of physical illnesses (e.g. headaches, stomach aches);
unexplained changes either in mood or behaviour; it may be particularly noticeable before returning to school after weekends or more especially after longer school holidays;
visible signs of anxiety or distress – stammering, withdrawing, nightmares, difficulty in sleeping, crying, not eating, vomiting, bedwetting;
spontaneous out-of-character comments about either pupils or teachers;
possessions missing or 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;
out of character behaviour in class
lingering behind in school after classes are over
Artwork or compositions expressing inner turmoil.

Those signs do not necessarily mean that a pupil is being bullied. If repeated or occurring in
combination those signs do warrant investigation in order to establish what is affecting the
pupil.

Characteristics in Bullying Behaviour
Schools need to recognise that any pupil can be a victim of, or perpetrator of bullying
behaviour.

The Victim
Any pupil through no fault of their own may be bullied.
It is common in the course of normal play for pupils to tease or taunt each other. However, at
a certain point, teasing and taunting may become forms of bullying behaviour. As pupils are
particularly quick to notice differences in others, pupils who are perceived as different are
those more prone to encounter such behaviour. However, the pupils who are most at risk of
becoming victims are those who react in a vulnerable and distressed manner. The
seriousness and duration of the bullying behaviour is directly related to the pupil’s continuing
response to the verbal, physical or psychological aggression.
It is of note that some pupils can unwittingly behave in a very provocative manner which
attracts bullying behaviour.

The Bully
It is generally accepted that bullying is a learned behaviour.
Pupils who bully tend to display aggressive attitudes combined with a low level of selfdiscipline. They can lack any sense of remorse; often they convince themselves that the
victim deserves the treatment meted out.
Pupils who bully can also be attention seeking; often they set out to impress bystanders and
enjoy the reaction their behaviour provokes. They tend to lack the ability to empathise. They
are unaware or indifferent to the victim’s feelings. Others seem to enjoy inflicting pain. It is of
note that many bullies suffer from a lack of confidence and have low self-esteem.
It is not uncommon to find that pupils who engage in bullying behaviour are also bullied. They
tend to be easily provoked and frequently provoke others.

Where does Bullying Happen?
(a) Pupil Behaviour

Bullying in schools frequently takes place in the playground. School playgrounds with hidden
or obscured parts may provide an environment conducive to bullying. Many of the games
which pupils play present possibilities for bullying because of their physical nature. It is
relatively easy to single out and harass another pupil. The noise level masks much of what is
going on. The playground provides the opportunity for older pupils to pick on younger pupils.
The playground is also the ideal setting for the ‘bully gang’. Continuing provocation may
eventually lead to a physical fight, and ironically in some cases the victim may appear to be
the aggressor because he/she finally gives vent to his/her frustration.
Toilets, cloakrooms, locker areas, changing rooms and showers may be the scene of verbal,
psychological and physical harassment. The behaviour of pupils in those areas needs careful
monitoring.

Bullying may also take place in class. It may occur subtly through glances, looks and sniggers
but may take the more overt form of physical intimidation. It may also be exacerbated if a
classroom atmosphere prevails whereby pupils are allowed to make derogatory comments 6
about their classmates or other teachers. However, teachers need to be alert to the
underlying reasons for such comments in case pupils are trying to disclose something which
is disturbing them and thus needs further investigation.

Bullying may also, occur between classes irrespective of whether the class or the teacher
moves. In the former situation the bullying goes on in the corridors and corners, while in the
latter case the classroom is the arena for various forms of hurtful behaviour.
The area immediately outside the school, the local shops and local neighbourhood are often
the scenes of bullying. Bullying also takes place on the journey to and from school, whether
the individuals are walking, on bicycles or on school buses.

Teacher Behaviour

The teacher behaviour of a bullying nature is most likely to take place in a classroom situation but not exclusively so. Such behaviour may, for example, also take place in the school playground, gymnasium or
the sportsfield.


To prevent the cycle of violence from one generation to the next, adults, in all possible situations must intervene. Failure to act gives a silent but powerful message that aggressive behaviour is appropriate and acceptable.

What Parents Can Do?

Empower pupils to report incidents

statements to children like 'you shouldn't tell tales' and discouraging "whistleblowing" at a young age, can have detrimental repercussions when it comes to incidents of bullying. Always make it clear to your children that it is always right to tell when they see something wrong.

Discuss Bullying Behaviour with your children

make them aware that bullying is not simply "physical" and discuss what kind of effects it can have. 

Challenge every incident of Bullying Behaviour that is witnessed

lead by example. Where you see negative behaviour highlight it.

Be aware of your own behaviour. 
don't confuse your children by talking one way and acting another, avoid inconsistent discipline and power-assertive methods of discipline. Exercise democracy in your home, give the children responsibility. Promote confidence and enhance their self esteem.

WHAT TO TELL CHILDREN IF THEY ARE BEING BULLIED

What to Do
Act as confident as you can. Face them and tell them clearly to stop. Try and be calm and move away from them.

Don't Hit Out
If someone is bullying you don't try to hit/kick them. You may get badly hurt in a fight and even if you don't, the bully can sometimes use how you hit them against you, and make it seem like you are the bully.

If They Call You Names
If they tease you or slag you off, try and laugh it off. Don't let them see that they have hurt you. Bullies like to get a reaction, if they don't get one there is no point in them bullying you.

Remember, It's Not About You
Often people who bully other people do it to make themselves feel better, because they are unhappy, at school or at home. Remember that they have the problem not you. Don't believe what they say to you, and don't blame yourself. 

Tell Your Friends//People You Can Trust In Class
Tell them what is going on and how you feel. Ask them to come with you to tell a teacher if you are afraid. Ask them to stand up with you against the bully.

Tell Someone
If you're being bullied, try and tell someone about it.

Talk to :
- Your parents
- Someone in your family
- Your teachers
- A Helpline
If your school has a peer mediation or mentoring program try to use it. No one can help you if you don't tell them.

Don't hit back with violence. Getting into a physical fight with someone can be dangerous.
If you are afraid to tell because it might make things worse, tell the person you talk to that you are afraid if they do anything it might make it worse, ask them to find a way to help you deal with it that won't.

Procedures for Noting and Reporting an incident of Bullying Behaviour
All reports of bullying, no matter how trivial, should be noted, investigated and dealt with by teachers. In that way pupils will gain confidence in ‘telling’. This confidence factor is of vital importance.
Serious cases of bullying behaviour by pupils should be referred immediately to the Principal or Vice-Principal.
Parents or guardians of victims and bullies should be informed by the Principal or VicePrincipal earlier rather than later of incidents so that they are given the opportunity of discussion the matter. They are then in a position to help and support their children before a crisis occurs.
Parents or guardians must be informed of the appropriate person to whom they can make their enquiries regarding incidents of bullying behaviour which they might suspect or that have come to their attention through their children or other parents/guardians.
It should be made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are not telling tales but are behaving responsibly.
Individual teachers in consultation with the appropriate staff member should record and take appropriate measures regarding reports of bullying behaviour in accordance with the school’s policy and Code of Behaviour and Discipline.
Non-teaching staff such as secretaries, caretakers, cleaners should be encouraged to report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the appropriate teaching member of staff.
In the case of a complaint regarding a staff member, this should normally in the first instance be raised with the staff member in question and if necessary, with the Principal.
Where cases, relating to either a pupil or a teacher unresolved at school level, the matter should be referred to the School’s Board of Management.
If not solved at Board level, refer to local Inspectorate.


Procedures for Investigating and Dealing with Bullying
Teachers are best advised to take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach when dealing with incidents of bullying behaviour reported by either pupils, staff or parents/guardians.
Incidents are best investigated outside the classroom situation to avoid the public humiliation of the victim or the pupil engaged in bullying involved, in an attempt to get both sides of the story. All interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned. Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful information in this way.
When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour seek answers to questions of what, where, when , who and why. This should be done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-aggressive manner.
If a gang is involved, each member should be interviewed individually and then the gang should be met as a group. Each member should be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure that everyone is clear about what everyone else has said.
If it is concluded that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him/her how he/she is in breach of the Code of Behaviour and Discipline and try to get him/her to see the situation from the victim’s point of view.
Each member of the gang should be helped to handle the possible pressures that often face them from the other members after interview by the teacher.
Teachers who are investigating cases of bullying behaviour should keep a written record of their discussions with those involved. It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident.
In cases where it has been determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, meet with the parents or guardians of the two parties involved as appropriate. Explain the actions being taken and the reasons for them, referring them to the school policy. Discuss ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions taken by the school.
Arrange follow-up meetings with the two parties involved separately with a view to possibly bringing then together at a later date if the victim is ready and agreeable. This can have a therapeutic effect.
Offenders and victims of bullying may be referred to counselling
Sanctions may include:
-A contract of good behaviour
-Report Card
-In House Suspension
-Suspension
-Expulsion

In the case of a complaint regarding a staff member, this should be referred immediately to the Principal. Where cases, relating to either student or teacher remain unresolved at school level, the matter should be referred to the Board of management.

Success Criteria:
Well being and happiness of the whole school community in the light of incidents of bullying behaviour encountered

Monitoring Implementation
Parents/guardians, Students and all members of staff.
To be included on the agenda for teaching staff meetings at least once a year.
To be included on the agenda for Student Council Meetings at least once a year.


Review and evaluation:
Full review every three years
Annual evaluation through surveys administered to the students, parents and staff to ascertain the level and type of bullying behaviour in the school.


Signed: ______________________________ Date: ___________________________
Chairperson

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