Parents > Policies
Geashill National School
This policy is based on the DES guidelines “Countering Bullying Behavior”. It aims to produce a safe and caring environment in which all children can develop to their full potential.
The school does not tolerate or condone bullying of any form or at any level of the school community. The Board of Management is committed to ensuring that all members of the school community - pupils, staff, and parents are enabled to act effectively to deal with bullying. This policy guides action and organization within the school for preventing and responding to bullying.
Definition of Bullying
Bullying may be defined as repeated acts of aggression; which may be verbal, psychological or physical conducted by an individual or group against others.
Bullying may take many different forms such as physical aggression, damage to property, theft of property, extortion, intimidation, abusive telephone calls, isolation, name calling, writing notes, emailing or texting. As a form of aggressive behavior it is usually hurtful and deliberate. It is persistent over time and makes it difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves.
It is important not to confuse bullying with isolated incidents of aggressive or antisocial behavior, which must not be condoned. However when the behavior is systematic and ongoing it becomes bullying.
All members of the school community have a role to play in the prevention of bullying.
Board of Management
The Board of Management is responsible for ensuring that all members of the school community are enabled to deal effectively with bullying. The Board is committed to providing time and resources for the implementation of the policy. The Board will ensure that proper supervisory and monitoring measures are in place to prevent bullying and to deal with incidents appropriately as they arise.
The school staff will foster an atmosphere of friendship, respect and tolerance. Children’s self-esteem will be developed through celebrating individual differences, achievements, acknowledging and rewarding good behaviour and manners and providing opportunities for success throughout the curriculum and school. Teachers will help pupils to develop empathy by discussing feelings and trying to put themselves in the place of others. Relationships with pupils will be based on mutual respect and trust so that pupils will have confidence in the school staff. Teachers will be vigilant, respond sensitively and caringly to pupils who disclose incidence of bullying and investigate all disclosed incidents of bullying.
Teachers will discuss the school's anti-bullying policy with the pupils and use behavioural management strategies which focus on problem solving and enable pupils to take an active role in finding a solution to problems.
The formal curriculum of the school will also be used to educate all pupils against bullying behaviour. Anti-bullying issues may be raised through the school religion programme, the Social Personal and Health Education programme, the Stay Safe Programme, the Arts and/or Circle time.
Pupils are expected to be tolerant and to have mutual respect for each other. Pupils should report incidents of bullying to their parents and teachers. Pupils should use the rule: Say No, Get away, Tell someone. Keep telling until someone listens and does something.
Procedures for Reporting and Investigating Bullying Incidents
When an incident of bullying is reported it will be investigated fully by the class teacher/supervising teacher who in turn will inform the principal.
Refer to existing code of behaviour for other steps.
Responding to Bullying
Support will be provided for anyone who is bullied by offering them an immediate opportunity to talk about their experience with their teacher or other teacher, along with continuing support when they feel they may need it. A victim will be assured that the school community will help them and put monitoring procedures in place to safeguard them.
The school will inform parents/guardians of what has happened and of the measures being taken to help them, encourage them to report further incidences if they occur.
Help and support will be sought for a bully. This will include speaking with them to discover why they became involved, informing their parents/guardians and continuing to work with them in order to modify their behavior. The school code of behavior applies to bullying. The bully will be helped to see things from the victim’s point of view. Bullies may be excluded from the playground at lunch break or subject to special monitoring procedures and if bullying continues they may be suspended in accordance with procedure.
Any pupil who is involved in retaliation against a pupil who reports bullying will be subject to the school code of discipline. Incidents of bullying will be used as opportunities for re-enforcing the anti-bullying policy of the school. Follow-up meetings may be arranged to assess progress and/or restore relationships.
Appendix 1 Advice for Parents
Effects of Bullying
Bullying can affect pupils in many different ways. When pupils are bullied their lives may be made miserable. They may suffer injury. They may be unhappy about coming to school. They may lose self-confidence and self esteem, blaming themselves for the bullying. Some children may experience stressful symptoms such as stomach aches and headaches, nightmares or panic attacks. (This form of unhappiness is likely to affect their concentration and learning). If unchallenged other pupils can learn that bullying is a quick and effective way of getting what they want.
Indications of Bullying Behavior – Signs and Symptoms
The following signs/symptoms may suggest that a pupil is being bullied:
Those signs do not necessarily mean that a pupil is being bullied. If repeated or occurring in combination, these signs warrant investigation in order to establish what is affecting the child.
What to do if your child is being bullied
What to tell your child to do if someone they know is being bullied
What to tell your child to do if you are being bullied