Anti-Bullying Policy

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1 Anti-Bullying Policy Rationale Bullying is a behaviour which can be defined as the repeated attack, physical, psychological, social or verbal, by an individual or group against others, including electronic and multi-media methods (see Appendix 1). It is deliberately hurtful behaviour, repeated over a time, where it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves. The linking factor in all forms of bullying is that the behaviour is meant to inflict or result in inflicting distress and unhappiness. The BISR Vision and Mission states that XXXXXX The importance of inter-personal relationships forms an important part of the curriculum, and we recognise it is important to seek to prevent bullying by trying to create and sustain a supportive atmosphere in which people feel valued, and free from intimidation. The aims of this policy are to: Prevent bullying Raise student awareness of bullying behaviour, and the School s Anti-Bullying Policy Challenge attitudes about bullying behavior Increase understanding for bullied students Build an anti-bullying ethos in the School Support the School s Vision and Mission Statement in providing a friendly, family atmosphere Relationship with other policies This policy should be read in conjunction with the Pastoral Care, PSHE, Behaviour and Discipline policies, and the Family Handbook. Roles and responsibilities The Senior Management Team will ensure that: An ethos which reflects the Vision and Mission Statement is developed and maintained Teachers and parents are aware of the policy and impart relevant information to the students The Year Leaders will ensure that: The PSHE curriculum includes modules that address bullying Procedures for dealing with bullies are followed Assemblies are used to raise awareness of the Anti-Bullying Policy for students They raise awareness of Anti-Bullying Policies

2 Teachers will ensure that: They do not misuse positions of authority They make reference to Anti-Bullying Policies They deal with all bullying behavior They act as a role model for students They are prepared to challenge racist, sexist or homophobic language or behavior They listen to children and be prepared to act on their concerns They use teaching styles that encourage positive behavior They are firm and consistent in dealing with incidents of bullying The curriculum is used to raise students awareness Break and lunchtime duties are completed Secluded areas are patrolled They observe students relationships Students should be encouraged to: Contribute to the student councils Develop roles and responsibilities that support students new to the School Participate in making the School a secure and friendly place Report any incidents of bullying or suspected bullying Parents will be expected to: Inform the School if they think their child might be being bullied Not hit back if they feel their child is being bullied Not contact another child s parents over a suspicion of bullying that occurs at School Contact the School if they fear another child might be bullied Support the School s Vision and Mission Statement Incidents which could be interpreted as bullying are: Threatened or actual physical assault Verbal abuse Expressions of prejudice calculated to offend others, or to influence the behaviour of others Graffiti (on furniture, walls or books) Distributing offensive literature Wearing of badges or symbols belonging to organisations known for their offensive Attitude to certain groups of people Name calling Teasing Taking or damaging belongings Spreading rumors Excluding someone from social groups Malicious phone calls or text messages Offensive notes Malicious messages via , chat rooms and message boards The early signs of distress caused by bullying include a student: Being withdrawn Being unwilling to produce work which reflects their ability Having spurious illnesses Being isolated Having a desire to remain with adults Having erratic attendance 2

3 Being generally unhappy, anxious or fearful Bed wetting Changing their friendship group In dealing with bullying we should be aware that reasons for being a victim include being: Race/sex/background A new child in school A child with a family crisis A student with a disability Timid Reasons for being a bully may be: A victim of violence Bullied at home Enjoyment of power or creating fear Not allowed or able to show feelings Copying behaviour from home or on TV Unhappy Insecure Self-hating Research suggests that: Boys often bully younger children of both sexes Girls often use verbal abuse and ostracise from peer group, usually to other girls Some victims are also bullies Some victims are treated as culprits Onlookers are condoning bullying, and becoming part of bullying Actions to be taken when bullying is suspected If bullying is suspected a teacher will talk to the suspected victim, the suspected bully and any witnesses. If any degree of bullying is identified help, support and counselling will be given as is appropriate to both the victims and the bullies. Teachers will support the victims in the following ways: By offering them an immediate opportunity to talk about the experience with their Class Teacher or Form Tutor, or another teacher if they choose By informing the victims parents/guardians By offering continuing support when they feel they need it By arranging for them to be escorted to and from the School premises, if necessary By taking one or more of the disciplinary steps described below to prevent more bullying By encouraging them to widen their circle of friends or activities if appropriate Teachers will also discipline, yet try to help the bullies in the following ways: By talking about what happened, to discover why they became involved By informing the bullies parents/guardians By continuing to work with the bullies in order to get rid of prejudiced attitudes as far as possible, By taking one or more of the disciplinary steps described below to prevent more Bullying 3

4 Disciplinary steps The disciplinary steps that may be taken against a bully include: Official warning to stop bullying Involvement of bullies parents/guardians Possible break or lunchtime isolation or exclusion Possible fixed term exclusion of 1 or 2 days For repeated offences, a major fixed period (up to 5 days) or permanent exclusion 4

5 Appendix A: What can you do if you are being bullied? Tell an adult or a prefect you trust right away. You will get immediate support. Teachers will take you seriously and will deal with bullies in a way which will end the bullying and will not make things worse for you. You can rely upon the teacher to help and to treat the matter confidentially Try not to show that you are upset. It is hard but a bully thrives on someone s fear Stay with a group of friends/people. There is safety in numbers Walk confidently away from a bullying situation. Go straight to a member of staff Remember that fighting back may make things worse. If you decide to fight back, talk to a teacher or your parents first Tell yourself that you do not deserve to be bullied and that it is wrong If you know someone is being bullied: Take action. Watching and doing nothing looks as if you are on the side of the bully. It makes the victim feel more unhappy and on their own If you feel you cannot get involved, tell and adult immediately. Teachers have ways of dealing with the bully without getting you into trouble Do not be, or pretend to be, friends with a bully 5

6 Appendix B: The Procedures For Dealing With Bullying Step One : Interview the child. When the teacher finds out that bullying has happened she starts by talking to the bullied child about his/her feelings. She does not question him/her about the incidents but does need to know who is involved. Pictures and writing may be helpful strategies. These questions/statements may be helpful: I understand that things aren t going too well for you at the moment and I wanted us to have an opportunity to talk about how you are feeling Do you want to tell me more? What are you feelings about this? How are you feelings about this? I can understand how angry you must be? How are you going to coping? Is there anything else you d like to say? I know it s been difficult for you to share that with me I m really pleased that you have been able to discuss this matter. Step Two convene a meeting with the people involved (perpetrator(s)) The teacher arranges to meet with the group of children who have been involved. This will include some bystanders (who failed to intervene) or colluders who joined in but did not initiate any bullying 6-8 in a group works well. Step Three - explain the problem The teacher tells them about the way the bullied child is feeling and might use a poem, piece of writing or drawing to emphasise her/his distress. At no time does she discuss the details of the incidents or allocate blame to the group. These statements may be helpful. I ve asked to meet you all because I m particularly concerned about From what I understand of the situation is feeling really upset. She is afraid of going into the playground. Step Four - share responsibility The teacher does not attribute blame but states that she knows that the groups are responsible and can do something about it. These statements may be helpful. I know that members of this group are responsible for some of what is feeling and I know that you can do something about it. I want us to find ways of making things better for Step Five - ask the group for their ideas Each member of the group is encouraged to suggest a way in which the bullied child could be helped to feel happier. The teacher gives some positive responses and lists ideas but does not go on to extract a promise of improved behavior. These questions/statements may be helpful: I wonder if you can think of some strategies to help solve this situation? It feels like a hard thing to have said. I m really pleased that you ve been brave enough to share this. Once strategies are out I m wondering how you can do that? 6

7 Step Six - leave it up to them The teacher ends the meeting by passing over the responsibility to the group to solve the problem. She arranges to meet them again individually to see how things are going. These statements may be helpful. I m really pleased with the way you have all worked through this situation and all the ideas that you have come up with. What I d like to do is to meet with each of you individually in about a week to find out how things are going. 7

8 Appendix C: Information and Advice for Students Bullying can ruin a student s school life and education, so we treat it with the utmost seriousness. It is a form of anti-social behaviour that has no place at BISR. Bullying can take many forms: physical, psychological or verbal. It can affect the happiness and achievements of the victims, the onlookers, and the bullies themselves. If you feel that you are being bullied, the following advice may be useful: Try to ignore the person(s) who is attempting to bully you Do not retaliate in a physical or verbal way. Walk calmly away from the situation Tell you re Class Teacher, Form Tutor or your parents. They will want to know and to help Remember that there may be others being bullied so you will be helping them as well as yourself by talking about your experience Do not blame yourself Think whether you might have done anything to encourage the situation What to do if you see someone else being bullied: Tell someone what has been happening, even if you have been warned not to. You may go to any teacher, particularly Find a teacher and explain what you have seen and heard Do not just ignore bullying. Think about how you would feel in the victim's position. Remember that bullying doesn't go away by itself Make sure that you do not get involved in the bullying as an 'easy' option out of the situation Some advice on how to avoid being bullied: Try not to be oversensitive to every comment (it may not be intended to be hurtful) Be friendly. Friends help you avoid these situations Think positively about yourself. Be confident Don't make unpleasant remarks about anybody even if you intend them as a joke Some advice on how to avoid being a bully: Talk about problems, rather than taking them out on someone else Try to avoid confrontations: find some way and somewhere to cool down Remember, bullies are often people with their own problems who need help to change their behaviour. We all have a responsibility to make sure that bullying has no place at The British International School Riyadh. 8

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