What is bullying?
Bullying is when someone intimidates or causes harm to another person on purpose. The victims of bullying can be verbally, physically or emotionally assaulted and are often threatened and made to feel frightened. Bullying should not be viewed as an unfortunate but unavoidable part of school life. No child deserves to be bullied – it’s unacceptable behaviour and can have a devastating effect on the victim. Most schools have an anti-bullying policy, so it’s a good idea to be aware of the position adopted by your child’s school.
Bullying in school can include:
- verbal harassment – face to face, by phone, text or over the internet
- hitting, hair-pulling and kicking
- teasing and name-calling
- spreading rumours
- damaging possessions
- frightening and intimidation
- exclusion at playtime or from social events and networks
How can I tell if my child is being bullied? Your child may not tell you that he or she is being bullied. However, you may notice some changes in his or her behaviour, including:
- unwillingness to go to school
- feeling unwell, often with a headache
- aggression towards you or others in your family
- bed wetting
- waking in the night
- missing or damaged belongings
All staff and students are aware of behaviour, which is considered to be bullying. When incidents of bullying are reported they are always be taken seriously. A wide range of strategies addressing the problems of both victims and bullies are in place to deal with any incidents of bullying along with intervention strategies. There is regular supervision of areas of the school where there might be particular opportunities for bullying to occur.
Parents and the Wider Community
Parents of all students involved in any incidents of bullying will be informed at the earliest possible moment. The School will attempt to inform the wider community of our policy and encourage them to support it. We will organise workshops for parents to come and discuss issues of bullying and preventative approaches.
All staff have access to appropriate safeguarding training. It is the responsibility of all staff to support students who have been bullied: both the victims and perpetrators and to ensure that all incidents are reported to the Head of House using the specified form at the end of this policy.
All students have a responsibility to help victims of bullying by talking to them and by saying no to bullying. They should try to tell the bullies (with support where necessary) why what they are doing is wrong and should tell a teacher, member of staff or peer mentor so that something can be done about it. Parents can support children by listening to their concerns and reassuring them that the matter will be dealt with.
Concerns should be discussed with the students’ tutor, Head of House or Deputy Head of House so that action can be taken, support put in place and the situation is dealt with effectively. Students who are the victims of bullying can deal with the situation by telling someone: a friend, peer mentor, teacher or parent.
Sanctions Sanctions may include:
- Verbal reprimand to student
- Meetings with parents/carers
- Temporary removal from class
- Withdrawal of privileges
- Other disciplinary measures (detentions)
- Internal isolation
Restorative approaches may include:
- Small group pastoral support
- Problem solving circles
- Circle time
- SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) work
- Meetings with victims, bullies and staff
What can I do at school?
Levenshulme High School has a responsibility to provide a safe learning environment free from violence, harassment and bullying. Your principal, teachers and school staff want to know about bullying so they can deal with it quickly. Asking someone for help To stop bullying—whether verbal, written or cyberbullying — it can be helpful to tell someone that you are being bullied. This can seem scary at first, but telling someone can lighten your load and help you to work out how to solve the problem. Talking to someone is particularly important if you feel unsafe or frightened, or if you don’t have many friends. Asking for help or talking to someone about your situation is not being weak or “giving in.” In fact, telling someone can take a lot of strength and courage. There are many people who might be able to help, including friends, older brothers and sisters, teachers, family, counselors or parents. Teachers and counselors are specially trained to help you.
Remember that everyone has the right to live, work, study and play in an environment free from bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence. No one deserves or asks to be bullied.
Try some strategies
- These strategies should only be tried if you are not in any immediate danger of being physically hurt and you feel confident you can do them. ignore the bullying – turn your back and walk away Act unimpressed or pretend you don’t care what they say or do to you. You could say ‘okay, whatever’ and walk away
- Say ‘No’ firmly
- Try using ‘fogging’ to distract or discourage the person bullying without antagonizing them. Fogging means making a joke or funny comment that makes the other person think you don’t care about what they say, or pretending to agree with them so they have nothing to bother you about. For example, you could casually say something general like, “Yeah, that’s the way it is”, or “Okay, since I’m so …. (using the person’s bullying words) I better just go then, hey?”.
The National Centre Against Bullying – has ten tips about how to deal with bullying. The Line campaign – a dedicated website that allows teenagers and young adults to talk to one another about healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviours and how to have and maintain a respectful relationship. Kids Helpline – provides free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25 and helpful information about relationship topics. ReachOut.com – provides an online youth mental health service and information, stories and a support network of other young people who have been through tough personal situations.
What should I do if my child is a bully?
If you suspect your child is bullying another child or other children, don’t ignore it. A child who is bullying others often has problems of his or her own. Try to understand what may be causing this behaviour and think about what is going on in your own home. Bullying can be subtle, so watch your child’s behaviour closely.
Consider the following:
- Is your child going through a difficult time?
- Does your child feel overlooked or overshadowed?
- Could your child be copying someone else’s behaviour – maybe an adult or older sibling at home?
- Do other members of your family use aggression or force to get what they want?
- Are you allowing your child to use aggression or force to get what they want from other people?
Make sure your child understands that bullying is unacceptable. Encourage your child to be friendly, understanding and kind to others. Try to bolster friendships by inviting other children over to your home but watch out for any signs of bullying.
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