We believe our students have the right to learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment without the fear of being bullied.
A safe and supportive school is described in the following way:
“In a safe and supportive school…….. diversity is valued and all members of the school community feel respected and included and can be confident that they will receive support in the face of any threats to their safety and wellbeing”. (NSSF)
Our school defines bullying as:
"A person is bullied or victimised when he or she is exposed repeatedly, and over time, to negative action on the part of one or more other persons" (Olweus, 1984). Bullying is 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.
Bullying can occur through several types of anti-social behaviour. It can be:
PHYSICAL: A child can be repeatedly punched, kicked or hit.
VERBAL: Verbal abuse can take the form of name-calling and teasing. It may be directed towards gender, ethnic origin, physical / social disability, or personality.
EXCLUSION: A child can be bullied simply by being excluded from games / discussions / activities, with those they believe to be their friends.
DAMAGE TO PROPERTY OR THEFT: Pupils may have their property damaged or stolen. The bully may use physical threats in order that the pupil will hand over property to them.
Should a case of alleged bullying occur, the Principal or Assistant Principal will be informed immediately and a thorough investigation will take place to establish the facts. If what has happened proves to be bullying an incident report will be completed and the parents of the student who was bullying will be informed. The parents of the student who was bullied will also be informed.
St Joachim's School adopts procedural steps for responding to bullying incidents to:
In addition, teachers have a responsibility to:
Our school supports victims of bullying in the following ways:
Students who are bystanders - it is important that all students be
taught to recognise bullying, report bullying and have the opportunity to
practice safe ways to effectively intervene, maintaining personal safety, when
bullying occurs. Students who witness bullying as a bystander may be called
upon to contribute to investigations of alleged bullying.
Although our school disciplines students who may have bullied, we also try to help these students in the following ways:
National definitions have been developed by the MCEETYA ‘Safe and Supportive School Communities’ management group and used in the National Safe Schools’ Framework (2011)
Aggression is words or actions (both overt and covert) that are directed towards another and intended to harm, distress, coerce or cause fear.
Definition for Teachers, Parents and Carers:
Bullying is 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.
For use with younger students: Bullying is when someone targets another child again and again and tries to make them feel bad. They say or do many mean and hurtful things, make fun of them a lot, try to stop them from joining in or make others not like them. Although it isn’t nice if someone says or does something mean to someone else, we don’t necessarily call that bullying. It also isn’t bullying if children of the same age have a one-off argument.
For use with older students: Bullying is when one student (or a group) targets another student again and again to upset or hurt them. They might hurt them physically, try to socially isolate them or say and do many mean or humiliating things to them. Although it’s neither respectful nor acceptable if someone behaves in a mean or aggressive way on one occasion, it isn’t considered bullying. A fight or disagreement between students of equal power or status isn’t considered bullying.
What is NOT Bullying?
There are also some behaviours, which, although they might be unpleasant or distressing, are not bullying:\
Conflict is a mutual disagreement, argument or dispute between people where no one has a significant power advantage and both feel equally aggrieved.
Covert bullying is a subtle type of non-physical bullying which usually isn't easily seen by others and is conducted out of sight of, and often unacknowledged by, adults. Covert bullying behaviours mostly inflict harm by damaging another's social reputation, peer relationships and self-esteem. Covert bullying can be carried out in a range of ways (e.g. spreading rumours, encouraging a third party to engage in bullying behaviour, conducting a malicious social exclusion campaign and/or through the use of internet or mobile phone technologies).
Cyber bullying is a term used to describe bullying that is carried out through internet or mobile phone technologies. It is often combined with offline bullying. It may include a combination of behaviours such as pranking (i.e. hang-up calls), sending insulting text messages, publishing someone's private information, creating hate sites or implementing social exclusion campaigns in social networking sites. It is also cyber bullying when a student uses technology to run a multi-step campaign to bully another student (e.g. setting another student up to be assaulted, video recording their humiliation, posting the video-recording online and then sending the website address to others).
It is important to recognize that cyberbullying is a form of bullying, and as such schools should already be equipped to deal with the majority of cyberbullying cases through their existing Whole School Student Behaviour Support Plan.
Cyber safe behaviours:
Cyber-safe behaviours are defined as the safe, respectful and responsible use of internet and mobile phone technology.
Cyber harassment is a single episode of aggression (e.g. an insult, threat, nasty denigrating comment) against a specific student carried out through internet or mobile phone technologies.
Discrimination occurs when people are treated less favourably than others because of their race, culture or ethnic origin; religion; physical characteristics; gender; sexual orientation; marital, parenting or economic status; age; ability or disability. Discrimination is often ongoing and commonly involves exclusion or rejection.
Harassment is behaviour that targets an individual or group due to their identity, race, culture or ethnic origin; religion; physical characteristics; gender; sexual orientation; marital, parenting or economic status; age; ability or disability and that offends, humiliates, intimidates or creates a hostile environment. Harassment may be an ongoing pattern of behaviour, or it may be a single act. It may be directed randomly or towards the same person/s. It may be intentional or unintentional (i.e. words or actions that offend and distress one person may be genuinely regarded by the person doing them as minor or harmless). Harassment is unacceptable and needs to be addressed as part of creating a safe school but it would not be considered bullying if any one or more of the following three features were present.
Supportive Bystander Behaviour:
Supportive Bystander Behaviour is when the actions of a supportive bystander can stop or diminish a specific bullying incident or help another student to recover from it. A bystander is someone who sees or knows about child maltreatment, harassment, aggression, violence or bullying that is happening to someone else. Supportive bystander behaviours are actions and/or words that are intended to support someone who is being attacked, abused or bullied.
Violence is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against another person(s) that results in psychological harm, injury or in some cases death. Violence may involve provoked or unprovoked acts and can be a single incident, a random act or can occur over time.
Aggressors and their victims: Bullying at school In N. Freude and H. Gault (Eds.), Disruptive behaviour in schools. Chichester: John Wiley.