Anti-Bullying Policy

*Updated February 2019

What Is Bullying?

Bullying is aggressive behaviour that is typically repeated over time. It is meant to cause harm, fear or distress or create a negative environment at school for another person.

According to the Education Act:

“bullying” means aggressive and typically repeated behaviour by a pupil where,

(a) the behaviour is intended by the pupil to have the effect of, or the pupil ought to know that the behaviour would be likely to have the effect of,

(i) causing harm, fear or distress to another individual, including physical, psychological, social or academic harm, harm to the individual’s reputation or harm to the individual’s property, or

(ii) creating a negative environment at a school for another individual, and

(b) the behaviour occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance between the pupil and the individual based on factors such as size, strength, age, intelligence, peer group power, economic status, social status, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, family circumstances, gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, disability or the receipt of special education; (“intimidation”)

Bullying can be:

✓ Emotional being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. threatening gestures)

✓ Physical pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence

✓ Racist racial taunts, graffiti, gestures

✓ Sexual unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments

✓ Verbal name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing

✓ Cyber All areas of internet, such as email and internet chat room misuse Mobile threats by text messaging & calls – Misuse of associated technology, i.e. camera and video, cell phones.

RATIONALE:

Bullying is an anti-social behaviour which can affect students and staff and may result in mental, emotional and physical abuse. It is not acceptable and will not be tolerated at Geraldton Composite High School. Every student and staff member has the right to be safe and feel safe and to work in an environment of mutual trust and respect. All staff shares the responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all our students. The staff shares an objective to help keep the students safe by providing an environment where they feel valued and respected, comfortable, relaxed and secure. We recognize our responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of our students by protecting them from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, neglect, and bullying. We are vigilant in identifying students who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, and will take appropriate action with the aim of ensuring the students and staff are kept safe in the education setting of our school.

PURPOSE:

❖ No one deserves to be a victim of bullying.

❖ Everybody has the right to be treated with respect.

❖ Ensure that students and staff are safe and feel safe at the school.

❖ Ensure that everybody recognizes their responsibility to support the care and protection of students and staff at GCHS.

❖ All management committee, teaching, and non-teaching staff, pupils and parents have an understanding of what bullying is and what their responsibilities are should bullying arises.

❖ Bullying of any form will not be tolerated at GCHS.

Scope of Policy: All allegations concerning bullying of students will be dealt with in accordance with the board policy and Education Act.

GUIDELINES:

✓ All forms of bullying should be appropriately noted by staff.

✓ Staff will discuss “What is Bullying” and GCHS’s policy with students and make sure that they know what to do if they are the victims of bullying.

✓ Students will be encouraged to share strategies to prevent bullying, e.g. a buddy system.

✓ All concerns will be taken seriously and investigated

✓ Staff will be alert to the signs of bullying.

✓ Staff and students will be encouraged to report bullying.

✓ Parents will be encouraged to report concerns regarding bullying.

✓ Staff will follow GCHS’s procedures in dealing with the person being bullied.

✓ Staff will have strategies to help students who are bullying to understand and change their behaviour

Steps for reporting Bullying and procedures if it continues

Self-referral by the student or concerned person

1. Meeting with teacher or preferred person – discussion – moving forward

2. Discussion with all parties – records kept – parents informed

3. Referred to youth support worker at GCSH

4. Referred to Principal – detailed record kept – suggested actions/strategies followed

5. Referral to external agencies

Support:

Students and staff who have been bullied will be supported by:

✓ Giving them an opportunity to discuss the incident/s

✓ Giving reassurance that the bullying is being addressed

✓ Offering an open door for support to restore confidence

✓ The use of specialist support, if needed or requested See APP 3 Help and support

Pupils who have bullied will be helped by:

✓ Discussing what happened

✓ Discovering why they became involved

✓ Understanding and discussing ways to improve and change their behaviour

✓ Working with parents to help change the attitude of the pupil

✓ The use of specialist interventions and referrals to other agencies where appropriate

Sanctions

✓ Warnings

✓ Exclusion from certain areas of the building

✓ Restriction of use of mobile phones/cameras in the building

✓ One or more day(s) of progressive discipline

Parents who are concerned about bullying

✓ Resolved through discussion with the principal

✓ Where the bullying takes place outside of GCHS, parents will be asked to work together with staff members in addressing their child’s behaviour

✓ Referral of the family to external support agencies will be made where appropriate preventative measures are necessary

✓ Effective Anti-bullying policy

✓ Raise awareness through the curriculum, school council, parent council

✓ Students actively involved in producing ‘Code of Conduct’

✓ Displaying ‘Code of Conduct’ in classrooms and corridors

✓ Incidents treated seriously and dealt with immediately

Administration:

✓ Will be responsible for implementing the policy and will be the contact for the School.

✓ Staff will review this Policy annually and adjust policies based on concerns or changes in policy and/or technology.

Guidance for Students

Anti-Bullying:

If you think you are being bullied:

❖ Tell someone you trust

❖ Try and ignore the bully and don’t show them you are upset

❖ Avoid being alone

If you see someone being bullied

❖ Report it to someone you trust

❖ Don’t join in bullying even if everyone else is

Always

❖ Think of other people’s feelings

❖ Remember you are important and have the right to feel safe and happy

❖Never pick on others, tell someone you trust.

Anti- Bullying: A Guide for Parents

Some of the signs a young person is being bullied are;

Emotional:

personality changes, insomnia, nightmares, depression, eating disorders.

Physical:

damaged clothing/ equipment, unexplained injuries, headaches, stomach aches, nervous habits, negative body language.

Social: loss of confidence, withdrawal from friends, problematic behaviour.

Home: withdrawal from or fighting with family members, demands for extra money.

Community: unwillingness to be outside alone or to participate in social events.

What you can do ?

✓ Encourage him/her to talk about the problem

✓ Make sure your child knows you will support them

✓ Listen to what he/she has to say, stay calm and don’t overreact

✓ Contact your child’s teacher

✓ If the bullying takes place outside of school then contact the police

If you suspect your child is a bully

Signs to look out for:

✓ Intolerance to others

✓ Friends not coming around

✓ Befriending older peers

✓ Extreme behaviour

What you can do?

✓ Talk to your child about the consequences of bullying

✓ Talk to us, we want to help

Contextual Information:

The Education Act 1990

The Safe School Act 2001

Accepting Schools Act 2012

Bullying We Can All Help Stop It 2011

Ontario Human Rights Code

Code of Conduct

Canada Kids Help Phone

Adapted from: Response, Good Practice Guidelines, Newcastle Action Against Bullying.