Anti-Bullying Guidelines for Parents
Following a number of incidents over the course of the past two years it has come to my attention that parents are unaware of their obligations under the current Anti-Bullying policy and DES guidelines and the school’s own Code of Behaviour and Complaints Procedure. This week as we begin our Anti-Bullying Week we issue this reminder to all parents about their responsibilities to the whole school community.
Definition of Bullying:
Bullying is repeated aggression, verbal, psychological or physical conducted by an individual or group against others.
Isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour, which should not be condoned, can scarcely be described as bullying. However, when the behaviour is systematic and ongoing it is bullying.
(Dept. of Education and Science Guidelines on Bullying, 1993)
Types of Bullying Behaviour:
The following list was compiled in consultation with students and as a result of a specially designated Staff Day. The school community presents these as examples of unacceptable bullying behaviour aware that the list is not exhaustive.
• Humiliation -including name-calling, reference to academic ability, special leaning difficulties etc.
• Identity–based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying or bullying towards a person with a disability.
• Intimidation- including aggressive use of body language.
• Verbal abuse, anonymous or otherwise.
• Physical abuse or threatened abuse.
• Aggressive or obscene language.
• Offensive joke, whether spoken or by e-mail, messaging etc.
• Victimisation; including very personal remarks.
• Deliberate exclusion and isolation.
• Malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying.
• Intrusion through interfering with personal possessions or locker.
• An attack by rumour, gossip, innuendo or ridicule on any individual’s reputation.
• Cyber-bullying- unwanted or nasty comments, harassment or intimidation on social media or by phone.
Guidelines for parents:
If a parent feels that their child is being victimised or is involved in bullying behaviour they should approach the school.
If a parents wishes to make a complaint about a teacher or another student they must contact the school and use the appropriate Complaints Procedure.
All complaints about bullying or other discipline issues should be kept discreet and confidential. It is essential that parents do not discuss the issues with anyone other than the school authorities.
Cases of bullying or indiscipline will be dealt with by the school. Once a sanction has been issued and completed the matter is considered closed. As a Loreto school students are always afforded the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and move on. All students are given a clean slate. It is vital that everyone in the school community accepts this as fundamental to our ethos.
Parents should not approach any child to discuss any discipline matter.
Parents should not engage with any other parent about discipline or other matters involving the school.
Parents should not engage in gossip or rumour about any child or adult in the school community.
Parents should not engage in gossip or rumour about any child or adult in the school community via social media e.g. Whats App or other social media platforms.
Parents should allow the school to deal with all matters of bad behaviour in a confidential manner.
The school has a duty of care to all students and staff. The school should be afforded the time and space to deal with issues in a respectful and sensitive manner.
Gossip and rumour only adds to an already difficult situation.
All parents need to be mindful that we are dealing with children who are entitled to make mistakes, accept the consequences of their actions, learn from their mistakes and then move on without the parent body judging them.
All decisions made by the school are final.