Buckholme towers School Anti-Bullying Policy

Buckholme Towers does not tolerate bullying in any form, and all members of the school staff are committed to promoting a safe and caring environment for pupils. Staff, pupils and parents will work together to address issues of bullying when these arise.

Definition

  • Bullying happens when a pupil or group of pupils set out deliberately to upset another pupil again and again. It may include:
  • Name-calling and teasing
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Hurting physically
  • Extortion (taking things away)
  • Damaging property and belongings
  • Spreading horrible rumours and stories
  • Deliberate exclusion from games and activities
  • Cyberbullying (using the Internet and mobile phones to torment, threaten or humiliate)

* see note attached at the end of the policy

  • Steps to be taken to prevent bullying
  • Staff members will teach the pupils about bullying in PSHCE lessons.
  • Pupils will learn how to identify bullying, how to respond when made a victim of bullying, and how to handle bullying incidents that they might observe.
  • Pupils are encouraged to report any incident or suspected incident of bullying.
  • They will also learn how to identify and correct bullying behaviours that they themselves may exhibit.
  • Staff will also ensure adequate supervision of the pupils around the school, and will take special note of any identified bullying “hotspots” in the school, to reduce the incidence of bullying.
  • Reporting of bullying

Pupils or parents can report bullying to the pupils’ class teacher, senior teacher or Headmaster and the reporting of bullying should be encouraged as the right and courageous thing to do. Staff members will take these reports seriously, investigate them thoroughly, and provide feedback.

Procedures to deal with bullying

When an incident of bullying or suspected bullying is reported, the school will respond in a manner that is appropriate to the incident. The following steps will usually be taken, depending on the nature of the incident:

  • A suitable member of staff will meet with the victim to establish what has been taking place, to ensure that the victim understands and is comfortable with the action that the school will take in dealing with the matter, and to ensure that the victim will not be placed at further risk.
  • The victim’s parents will be contacted and informed of the situation, and kept appraised of the school’s actions and approach. If it is felt that the victim is in need of further support or coaching, this will be arranged in conjunction with his parents and the school’s pastoral care systems.
  • A suitable member of staff will then meet with the perpetrator of the bullying incident to hear his/her side of the story, and to ensure that the bullying behaviour stops immediately. If there is negative comeback from the perpetrator to the victim following this, parents will be called in. If it is felt that the perpetrator needs some form of help, this should be arranged in conjunction with his parents and the school’s pastoral care systems.
  • In the event of the stories of the victim and the perpetrator being at odds, investigating staff will usually either bring both pupils into an interview together for mediation, or will investigate further by interviewing other pupils who have witnessed the incidents.
  • The class teachers of both the perpetrator and the victim, and the pastoral care team should be kept informed at each step of the process.
  • The incidents will be recorded.
  • If the perpetrator repeats his/her behaviour, the school will be obliged to take more stringent steps to curb his bullying behaviour. In the event of repeated bullying behaviour that is felt to endanger one or more of the pupils in the school, the perpetrator may be asked to leave the school.
  • In incidents involving cyberbullying, whether these occur on or off the school property, the school reserves the right to take the same action as for other incidents of bullying behaviour.

Role of parents and guardians

  • Parents or guardians should:
  • Watch for signs of unhappiness in their child’s life.
  • Be supportive when an incident of cyberbullying is reported as this can be extremely damaging and have lasting effects.
  • Inform their child’s class teacher or the headmaster if there is any suspicion that their child is being bullied.
  • Not take matters into their own hands in confronting the perpetrator or his parents.
  • Refrain from telling their child to retaliate.
  • Help their son to learn positive behaviours that will help him not to become a victim.
  • Clearly address the situation if their son/daughter is found to have abused another child.

Note on cyberbullying

The following examples of what constitutes cyberbullying may be helpful. (Please also see separate eSafety Policy)

1.     Instant Messaging/Text Messaging Harassment
Pupils may send hateful or threatening messages to other pupils, without realising that while not said in real life, unkind or threatening messages are hurtful and very serious.

  • Warning wars: many Internet Service Providers offer a way of "telling on" a user who is saying inappropriate things. Pupils may engage in "warning wars" which can lead to someone being suspended or “offline” for a period of time. While this should be a security tool, pupils sometimes use the Warn button as a game or prank.
  • A pupil may create a screenname that is very similar to another pupil’s name and he/she may use this name to say inappropriate things to other users while posing as the other person.
  • Text wars or text attacks are when children gang up on the victim, sending thousands of text-messages to the victim’s cell phone or other mobile device.

2.     Stealing passwords

A child may steal another child's password and begin to chat with other people, pretending to be the other child. He/she may say mean things that offend and anger friends or even strangers. A child may also use another child's password to change his profile to include sexual, racist, and inappropriate things that may attract unwanted attention or offend people.

3.     Blogs
Blogs are online journals. They are a fun way for people to post messages for all of their friends to see. However, they may use these blogs to damage other people’s reputations or invade their privacy.

4.     Sending Pictures through E-mail and Mobile Phones

  • Children may send mass e-mails to other users that include degrading pictures of other children, for example, a picture of someone changing, etc. Once an e-mail like this is sent, it is passed around to hundreds of other people within hours; there is no way of controlling where it goes.
  • Many of the newer mobile phones allow people to send pictures to each other. Inappropriate images may be shared between people.
  • Cyberbullies may sign their victims up for e-mailing and IM marketing lists, including porn sites. When the victim receives thousands of e-mails from pornographers their parents usually get involved, either blaming them (assuming they have been visiting porn sites) or making them change their e-mail or IM address.

5.     Internet Polling

Who's Hot? Who's Not? These types of questions run rampant on the Internet polls, created by people. Such questions are often very offensive and are yet another way that pupils can bully other pupils online.

6.     Impersonation

Posing as the victim, the cyberbully can do considerable damage. They may post a provocative message in a hate group's chatroom posing as the victim, inviting an attack against the victim, often giving the name, address and telephone number of the victim to make the hate group's job easier. They often also send a message to someone posing as the victim, saying hateful or threatening things while masquerading as the victim. They may also alter a message really from the victim, making it appear that they have said nasty things or shared secrets with others.

We strongly recommend that parents monitor their children’s use of the internet and mobile phones.

(Adapted from www.stopcyberbullying.org)

Reviewed by staff September 2016