Anti-Bullying Stance

St James’ Primary School is committed to following the Gospel values of love and respect towards all other people. Bullying is not acceptable. Bullying can impact on the capacity of children to achieve their God-given potential. Bullying is repetitive and continuous acts of aggression causing embarrassment, pain or discomfort to others. Bullying is defined as a pattern of behaviour by a group or an individual towards another that is designed to hurt, injure, embarrass, upset or discomfort that person or group. Bullying occurs when a person or group is intimidated, frightened, excluded, hurt or discomforted by a pattern of behaviours directed at them by others.

St James’ Primary School will provide a positive culture where bullying is not accepted, and in so doing, all will have the right of respect from others, the right to learn or to teach, and a right to feel safe and secure in their school environment.

Such a supportive and positive environment would provide social support networks, an array of positive, interpersonal relationship experiences and programs. It would also help to develop a balanced approach to life and learning by the students.

Bullying needs to be recognised, named and addressed to ensure St James’ is working towards an authentic Christian school culture.

Definition

The National Safe Schools Framework (2011) defines bullying as repeated verbal, physical, social or psychological behaviour that is harmful and involves the misuse of power by an individual or group towards one or more persons.

Cyberbullying

“… any form of bullying that utilises technology such as instant messaging, online chat rooms, online bulletin boards and email. In many ways this is a more insidious form of bullying since it may reach into a victim’s home.” In other words, technology now allows the bully to inflict psychological harm on their victim anywhere and anytime without respite. (Schools and the Law – Des Butler and Ben Matthews, p. 46).

Responsibilities of staff

  • To model appropriate behaviour at all times.
  • To deal with all reported and observed incidences of bullying as set out in this policy.
  • To report incidences of bullying to the principal.
  • To ensure students feel and understand that they have been heard.
  • To watch for signs of bullying among students.
  • To build a sense of respect for each individual within the school community.
  • To nurture a sense of goodness (Godness) in students.
  • To give time and support to children who report instances perceived by them as “bullying”.
  • Document all reported incidents and their follow-up on the school Gate21
  • Policy will be posted on the school’s webpage.
  • Follow the school’s policy and procedures on anti-bullying.
  • Monitor student understanding of anti-bullying policy and processes through the conduct of an annual survey.
  • Evaluate the policy annually.

Responsibilities of children

  • To “tell” if they are being bullied or if they feel someone else is being bullied – at school, or on the way to and from school.
  • To help someone who is being bullied. To provide support for an individual.
  • To not bully others.
  • To respect the judgment of teachers when assessing “bullying”.
  • To respect themselves as individuals and as part of a loving and encouraging community.
  • To respect the viewpoint of others and to strive to empathise and understand that no one viewpoint has absolute authority over another valid, positive viewpoint.
  • Accept responsibility for one’s own behaviour, to own your problems.
  • To not deflect your choices of behaviour onto others.
  • Follow the school’s policy and procedures on anti-bullying.
  • Have an understanding and awareness of what constitutes bullying.
  • Participate in an annual anti-bullying survey.

Responsibilities of parents

  • To work with the school community to encourage good (God) values of respect and tolerance of individuality.
  • To understand that conflict is a normal part of relationships.
  • To distinguish between relationship conflicts and “bullying”.
  • To participate in the annual evaluation of the anti-bullying policy and processes.
  • To watch for signs that their child may be bullied.
  • To speak to someone on staff at the school if they suspect their child is being bullied.
  • To instruct their children to “tell” if they are bullied.
  • To support the procedures outlined in this document.
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