Anti Bullying Policy – Students

Anti Bullying Policy – Students

All members of the Brighton Grammar School community have the right to be in an environment free from fear, intimidation and harassment. All students have the right to feel safe and comfortable at school and to be treated with understanding and respect by others. Bullying in any of its forms will not be tolerated in our school community, and will be treated seriously.

Definition

Bullying is a form of abuse.  Bullying is when someone repeatedly uses their power to hurt or intimidate others. Bullying can be verbal, physical, emotional, electronic or sexual. It may be planned, spontaneous or even unintentional.

The key features of bullying are that it:

  • causes hurt and distress;
  • is repeated;
  • involves the use of power in an unfair way.

Bullying Behaviour

Examples of bullying behaviour include, but are not limited to, the following categories:

Verbal bullying              

Name calling; “put-downs”; teasing comments about another’s appearance, or another’s social, cultural or religious beliefs; threats; offensive acronyms; spreading malicious rumours; belittling others’ abilities and achievements; negative references to family or ethnic background.

Physical bullying           

Hitting; poking; pushing; punching; kicking; tripping, spitting; invading personal space; stand over tactics; taking or hiding or damaging belongings; circulating offensive notes; offensive graffiti; non-verbal signs and gestures such as ‘dirty looks’ which are designed to intimidate.

Emotional bullying         

Ignoring; excluding; ostracising; alienating; influencing others not to like or associate with them; controlling or dominating someone by withdrawing or threatening to withdraw friendship; pressuring others to act against their will – such as giving up possessions, money or requesting homework for copying or stealing.

Cyber bullying              

Offensive electronic/text messages or emails; putting or posting offensive material on the Internet or through instant messaging programs, chat rooms and/or social networking sites (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, KiK, SnapChat); using a person’s screen name to pretend to be them (setting up a fake account); sharing of inappropriate images, sexting; intentionally excluding others for an online group.

Sexual bullying             

Taunts about body parts and development; teasing about sexual orientation; unwanted/unsolicited sexual attention from another, notes or pictures depicting sexual content. 

Policy

 All members of the School community have a responsibility to respond to incidents of bullying.

 The School Undertakes to: 

  • Provide a supportive environment which encourages positive relationships between students, staff

       and parents.

  • Provide curriculum material which will help develop appropriate social skills, positive relationships and resilience.
  • Provide counselling to students in dealing with conflict resolution; to those on both the giving and receiving ends of bullying.

Discouraging Bullying

The methods used by the School to discourage bullying will vary from time-to-time with new initiatives being introduced when thought appropriate.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Engaging students across all year levels in anti-bullying programs with specific emphasis on bystander and responsible reporting programs.
  • Including anti-bullying messages in the Wellbeing & Health curriculum.
  • Promoting a bully-free environment in assemblies, Chapel, Tutor periods, Year-level and House meetings.
  • Printing Anti-bullying policies on the School Website, in Student Record Books; on the Hub and the Administration Portal.
  • Periodically undertaking confidential Year-level surveys of student wellbeing and bullying behaviour and where possible following up on identified perpetrators and targets.
  • Employing Chaplains and Student Counsellors who have specialist skills in helping both targets and perpetrators of bullying.
  • Ensuring effective pastoral support for students through the appointment of Heads of House, Year Level Co-ordinators and Deputy Heads of School.
  • Engaging Student Groups (Student Council, Student Wellbeing Committees) to instigate anti-bullying initiatives.
  • Having a team of Prefects who support the School’s Anti-bullying Policy and who students feel free to inform about anti-bullying.
  • Using an appropriate range of interventions and sanctions applicable to the age group and the situation to deal with and discourage bullying behaviour. 
  • Sanctioning students who repeatedly use racial, homophobic, misogynistic and discriminatory language and gestures even if it’s meant in a friendly jovial manner.
  • Monitoring staff and parent use of language whilst engaged in School activities to ensure that racial, homophobic, misogynistic and discriminatory language is not used.
  • Educating Parents and Staff on the differences between anti-social or negative behaviours and bullying.
  • Encouraging staff to adopt classroom management techniques that discourage opportunities for bullying behaviours.
  • Training staff to detect bullying behaviours.
  • Encouraging staff to actively supervise whilst on duty so that there is a pervasive sense of staff presence.
  • Emphasising anti-bullying guidelines during new staff inductions.
  • Conducting exit interviews.
  • Reviewing the School’s Anti-bullying Policy periodically, in order to ensure it remains effective and relevant.

To assess the success or otherwise of the School’s anti-bullying strategies, an “Annual Bullying Report” will be prepared by each Campus summarising the data drawn from incident records and surveys undertaken at the School. The Report will be reviewed by the Senior Executive at the end of each calendar year.

Intervention

 An incident of bullying might be reported by a student, parent, visitor or member of staff.

  1. All students identified as being involved in an anti-social/negative behaviour incident for the first time will be interviewed by the staff member who observed the incident or to whom it was reported along with the Head of House or Classroom Teacher. The incident will be discussed with the students involved and they will have the opportunity to have their voice heard. The School Marshall and/or Deputy Head may be a part of this process.
  1. Once this has occurred the focus will be on achieving acceptable behaviour from the students involved, and this will be reported back to the Classroom Teacher, Head of House, and Deputy Head of School, who will record details of the incident.
  1. If a student/s is identified as being involved in a further incident involving the same target or displaying the same negative behaviour, the issue will be treated as bullying. The student/s will be interviewed by the Head of House and Deputy Head of School and their parents will be informed.
  1. At the discretion of the Deputy Head of School, a number of different methods may be used by the School to resolve the bullying conflict depending on the situation, as detailed on the Victorian Government Department of Education and Training website linked below. (This does not include Restorative Practice which will only be carried out by a trained external facilitator, as referred to below.)

http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/bullystoppers/Pages/teachoverview.aspx

  1. Counselling may be recommended for the target and/or perpetrator of the bullying.
  1. Students who continue to be involved in ongoing bullying will be interviewed by the Head of School together with their parents. At the discretion of the Head of School or Headmaster, an external facilitator may be engaged to apply a Restorative Practice approach to resolving the bullying.
  1. Should the bullying continue after the Restorative Practice, appropriate action, which may include suspension or expulsion, will be taken at the discretion of the Headmaster.

Related Policies

 Student Code of Conduct

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