Addressing Bullying Behaviour in Schools
Latest Update – December 2015
Definition of Bullying
Bullying behaviours are those behaviours which are repeated over time by and individual or a group and which are intentionally hurtful in a direct or indirect manner, against a person who has difficulty defending himself or herself.
- School staff who witness a bullying incident are to immediately verbally intervene to stop the bullying behaviour.
- When a bullying incident is reported to the member of the school staff should listen to the person reporting in a non-judgemental manner.
- Bullying behaviour is to be brought to the attention of the Head of School.
- The incident is to be noted in the incident report sheet which is available to the SMT, and discussed with the College Counsellor or with the Guidance Teacher who in turn determine if the case is really a case of bullying or otherwise.
- If it is determined that it is truly a case of bullying, the Head of School is to inform the parents of the student who bullied and also the parents of the victim.
- Other steps which may be taken include:
- Follow up sessions with Guidance Teacher / College Counsellor for both the victim and the perpetrator
- Referral to the Anti-Bullying Service
- Provision of social skills training for the perpetrator
- Encourage a circle of friends to support the victim
Actions to be taken if member of staff suspects that bullying is taking place:
- Report to Assistant Head of School who is in charge of the particular year group.
- Listen to the person reporting.
- Speak to the perpetrator ( in the first instnce speak to the reporting student and the alleged perpertrator separately)
- Speak to witnesses of the incident for further clarification.
- Inform the Head of School.
- A report is filled in for the College Counsellor / Guidance Teacher.
- If, following interventions by the Counsellor or Guidance Teacher, the case is still unresolved, a referrall to the Anti-Bullying Service is to be made.
Parents reporting bullying incidents are to be guided to the Assistant Head in charge of the particular year group or to the Head of School.
In the case of student to student cyber bullying reported to teachers, the following actions are to be taken:
- Inform the Head of School.
- A report for the College Counsellor / Guidance Teacher is filled in.
- SMT to inform the parents of the students concerned.
- SMT to advise the parents to file a report with the police.
- Should the SMT be further concerned about the safety of the students, they are to inform APPOĠĠ.
Adult to Student Bullying, Student to Adult Bullying, Adult to Adult Bullying
- Inform the Head of School
- If students are involved, inform the College Counsellor / Guidance Teacher
- Further advice and support to be sought from the College Principal
Examples of Possible Restorative Consequences
- Perpetrator apologises to the victim in front of those who witnessed the bullying.
- If any property was damaged, the perpetrator can help to clean, repair or pay for the damage.
- In case of theft or extortion, the stolen items must be returned together with an apology. If the items are not in a condition to be returned the perpetrator may be asked to pay for their replacement.