Bullying Free Week (14-18 May) has been a great chance for us to revisit school protocols around bullying. As teachers, we know we are very fortunate to work with such positive, friendly and co-operative children. Instances of bullying are rare at Appleby School!
This is not to say that our young people do not make mistakes. At times they make poor choices, act impulsively or try to resolve disputes in inappropriate ways. We try to be clear about our school position on these matters and be consistent as we help our students deal with problems. We tell the children that they have the right to feel safe and happy at school. It is not okay for someone else to use hurtful words or actions, which deny this right.
We define bullying as deliberate, hurtful behavior. In some instances, repeated over a period of time. Examples of bullying include: teasing, hitting, spreading rumours, damaging property, stealing, excluding others and name-calling. We have agreed that bullying, including the behaviours outlined above are not tolerated in our school.
People who are the victims of, or bystanders to these types of behaviours will take action to put things right!
Victims will stand strong and use I statements to make it clear to the bully that they are not accepting the behaviour. They will seek help from a friend or adult immediately so that the incident can be investigated.
Bystanders- Will support the victim by telling the bully they are out of line and by assisting the victim to get help. They do not try solve the situation in a physical way.
Teachers- Will encourage all students to be confident and to enjoy school. They will listen to reports of bullying, investigate, and if confirmed, act on all reports. Teachers will also look for trends or patterns and monitor the behaviour of victims and bullies.
Parents/Caregivers- Parents/caregivers listen carefully to any reports of bullying. They ask questions to establish the facts as best they can. If they suspect something serious has occurred they inform a teacher or the principal as soon as possible so the matter can be investigated fully. At times parents may decide that the matter is not so serious and try to give their child strategies to solve the issue themselves. Parents let teachers know their plans at these times.