What is it? Bullying is upsetting, hurtful or undermining behaviour. It happens over time. It is not a one-off incident. It is deliberate. It is always unwanted.
If a person experiences any of the unwanted behaviour below, even once, they should seek advice and help from someone in charge. If the behaviour is repeated over time we treat it as bullying:
• deliberate exclusion
• spreading rumours
• making fun of people
• deliberately embarrassing
• deliberately ignoring
• threatening looks
• threatening gestures
• extortion of any kind
• name calling
• taunting and teasing
• offensive remarks
• deliberate put-downs
• hitting or punching
• pinching or scratching
• hiding or taking belongings
• tripping or shoving
The Board of Management and staff at Scoil Fhursa do everything they can to:
(a) prevent and tackle school-based bullying
(b) deal as well as they can with any negative impact that occurs in school due to bullying behaviours that take place outside.
The Department guidelines on bullying are very clear. They state that the school will deal with the following behaviours under its bullying policy so that the rights of all pupils are upheld and respected.
• Cyber-bullying happens when an offensive or hurtful message or image of a person is posted on the internet for all to see.
• Homophobic bullying happens when individuals are targeted because of sexual orientation, special educational needs or other personal circumstances.
• Racist bullying happens when individuals are targeted because of social or ethnic difference – such as the country of origin, the colour of a person’s skin or
membership of the Traveller community for example.
A single one-off incident of any of these behaviours can be extremely upsetting. Any such harassment should be reported to the class teacher, to a teacher on yard duty or to the Principal.
It is wrong to use a mobile phone or an internet website to target any person’s character by making fun of them, by threatening them or by belittling them. Phones – and other personal devises that can record images and sound – are not permitted in school for the use by pupils. School iPads and tables must be used in strict accordance with our ‘acceptable use’ policy. The use of personal phones/cameras by pupils without written permission is a very serious misbehaviour.
In cases where offensive messages, comments or images are shown to others or are made available for others, the repeated exposure of the unwanted behaviour means that it is considered to be bullying. This includes content that is generated outside of the school by pupils and that is brought into the school setting.
Parents are asked to be alert for the following signs of concern and to contact the school for advice if in doubt:
• My child is anxious about going to school.
• My child is nervous in the mornings.
• My child’s morning patterns have changed.
• It’s not like him to complain about school.
• He has lost interest in doing well.
• He is complaining of headaches, tummy aches or pains.
• He has become quiet and withdrawn and won’t talk at home.
• It’s not like him to wake at night.
• Where did he get those bruises and scratches?
• Does he need extra money going to school?
• Nightmares? Bed-wetting? Vomiting?
The principal is available every morning 8:40 – 9:00 a.m. without an appointment and at any time 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. with an appointment to discuss any alleged bullying concerns [Call 01 847 6709 or 083 045 0099].
We guarantee that our school will do our very best to work with a family if there are concerns of bullying behaviour. We will always work within the Department of Education and Skills guidelines and within the Scoil Fhursa Board of Management policies to solve bullying problems…..
……… BUT PLEASE REMEMBER……
Almost any child can be bullied and almost any child can bully too. If it happens that your child has been accused of bullying another child, we know – from positive past experiences – that everyone will want to work with us for the good of all concerned. We appreciate that it may be disappointing to receive either a yellow card or a phone call home.
We understand that nobody wants to be contacted by the school with evidence of bullying behaviour.
Thankfully, it is our experience that when families are contacted and are asked to help [to reform and not to blame], the outcome is always positive.
It is our experience that many children who are accused of such behaviours have never intended to cause hurt or upset. Almost always, they are very willing to change their ways when everything is explained clearly and fairly to them.
There should be no fear of reporting, no fear of reprisals, no fear of punishment and no fear of being treated harshly or unfairly.
Everyone should be confident that the school operates every day with a fair and consistent anti-bullying policy. We want the best for everybody and we will do our best to work with pupils and with families to ensure that bullying. If or when it happens, is handled appropriately by all concerned.
Schools’ anti-bullying policies are due for renew by the Department in 2024.
If you have any comments or wish to suggest any changes, please drop a line to “BOM Anti-Bullying Policy Part 2, ℅ The Chairperson, Board of Management, Scoil Fhursa, Dublin, 5” Your opinion is important and will be brought to the attention of the Board. Thank you for reading our booklet.