ANTI-BULLYING POLICY STATEMENT
Bullying is the intimidation of an individual or group by another individual or group. Bullying implies a wilful and conscious desire to hurt, threaten, or frighten someone with an intention to cause distress and can cause long-term psychological damage. Many explanations have been identified as to why a child bullies another child; ie, jealousy, revenge, peer pressure, looking cool, fun, lack of self-worth.
Bullying can take place in school but it can also happen during out-of-school events (theatre trips, community event etc.) On these occasions, the Principal of the school remains responsible for the welfare of all pupils.
What types of bullying are there?
- Emotional (being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting, threatening behaviour)
- Verbal (name calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing)
- Physical (pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence)
- Cyber (all areas of internet, email and internet chatroom misuse. Mobile threats by text messaging and calls. Misuse of associated technology ie: camera and video facilities including those on mobile phones)
- Racist, religious and cultural (taunts, graffiti, gestures)
- Homophobic (because of, or focussing on the issue of sexuality)
- Bullying related to learning difficulties, special educational needs or disabilities
At TFX Performing Arts Academy we are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our pupils so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is totally unacceptable at our school.
- To assist in creating an ethos in which attending TFX Performing Arts Academy is a positive experience for all members of our school
- To make it clear that all forms of bullying, including cyber bullying, are unacceptable at TFX Performing Arts Academy
- To enable everyone to feel safe while at TFX Performing Arts Academy and encourage pupils to report incidents of bullying, including cyber bullying
- To deal with each incident of bullying, including cyber bullying, as effectively as possible, taking into consideration the needs of all parties and of our school and as a result to reduce the incidents of bullying
- To support and protect victims of bullying and ensure they are listened to
- To help and support pupils displaying bullying behaviour to change their attitudes and understand why it needs to change
- To liaise with parents and other appropriate members of our community Objectives
- To maintain and develop effective listening systems for pupils
- To ensure all staff deal with incidents of bullying, including cyber bullying, effectively and promptly
- To equip all staff with the skills and information necessary to deal with incidents of bullying
- To communicate with parents effectively on the subject of bullying
- To acknowledge the key role of every staff member in dealing with incidents of bullying
- To ensure that all incidents of bullying, including cyber bullying, are recorded
- To promote emotional health and wellbeing across the whole school and for all members of our community to role-model this in all situations.
All staff encourage pupils to disclose incidents of bullying and allegations are taken seriously and investigated. Parents will be involved at an early stage when it is felt to be necessary.
Bullying includes the wilful, conscious desire to hurt, threaten or frighten someone else. To do this the bully has to have some sort of power over someone. This power is not always recognisable to the teacher. Bullying can be hard to distinguish from ‘tit-for-tat’ behaviour, which is also unacceptable.
Children and young people who bully others often have the following characteristics:
- They enjoy the sense of power it gives them. There is often a wish to ‘dominate’
- They tend to be assertive and aggressive (to peers, parents, teachers, and siblings) in attitude and often lack self-control.
- They tend to lack empathy and cannot imagine what the victim feels.
- They lack a sense of guilt and rationalise their actions. They convince themselves and sometimes the victim that the bullying treatment was/is ‘deserved’.
- They may be victims of bullying.
- They can be of any age.
- They often have an inflated sense of self-esteem.
- They may be physically strong and many act impulsively.
- Many children may have experienced bullying themselves – from parents, siblings or peers. Some children may have been abused.
- They may have a lack of self-esteem
RECOGNISING POTENTIAL VICTIMS
The following pupils may be particularly vulnerable to bullying:
- New pupils and younger pupils.
- Pupils who show differences in appearance, accent, background or interests.
- Pupils with poor social skills.
- Those with low self-esteem who react nervously or dramatically to baiting.
- Children who are very clever/talented.
- Children who are anxious and/or insecure, sensitive and quiet.
- Pupils who are lonely and isolated but close to parents.
- However, any pupils who find themselves “in the wrong place at the wrong time” could be potential targets.
STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH BULLYING
Firstly, any incident will be thoroughly investigated to decide how serious the incident is, i.e. how persistent the behaviour has been, whether it is ‘tit- for-tat’ behaviour that has gone too far etc. Or if indeed a child has been specifically targeted.
- Ways may be devised to reward non-violent/bullying behaviour for the period of ‘report’ and immediately afterwards.
- Parents of those children involved in any reported incident will be notified as soon as possible.
PERSISTENT BULLYING OR INCIDENTS OF AN EXTREMELY VIOLENT NATURE
Ultimately should bulling persist, there may be a requirement to exclude a child from TFX Performing Arts Academy.
SUPPORT FOR THE VICTIM
1. Communication to all staff so that the situation can be monitored in a comprehensive way.
2. Follow-up monitoring/being ‘on report’ even after the situation seems to have been resolved.
3. Encourage supportive attitudes from pupils towards those who have been bullied.
WORKING WITH PARENTS/GUARDIANS
A good working partnership between TFX Performing Arts Academy staff and
parents/guardians will be facilitated if parents/guardians would inform the school:
- If their child reports being bullied.
- Of any family circumstances e.g. home pressures, separation, bereavement etc that may adversely affect the behaviour of their child.
- It is important to realise that children often mirror the behaviour of adults, and we ask that everyone acknowledges the important part we all play in ensuring every child, not just our own, has a safe and friendly environment when attending all TFX classes and performances.
Reviewed February 2018