At Advaith School, we believe that all students have the right to learn in a safe, caring environment without the fear of being bullied. We feel that a clearly laid down system for discipline can minimize the occurrence of bullying. We endeavor to promote good citizenship and make it clear that bullying is anti-social and contrary to our ethos and values. It is wrong and will not be tolerated. We feel that it is important for students and parents to know that any bullying complaints will be dealt with firmly, fairly and promptly.
Bullying affects everyone, not just the bullies and the victims. It also affects those children who watch and less aggressive students may be drawn in by group pressure. Bullying rarely sorts itself out. It is clear that jokes, insults, written abuse, violence and threatening or intimidating behaviour are found in our society but we believe that no one person or group should have to accept this type of behaviour.
Bullying can occur through several types of anti-social behaviour :
- Report all bullying incidents to any teacher/staff of Advaith to whom the student/parent is confident
- In cases of bullying the incidents will be recorded by the teacher/staff in the anecdotal register
- Parents will be informed and asked to attend a meeting to discuss the problem
- If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted
- The bullying behaviour, or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly.
- An attempt will be made to support the bully (bullies) to change their behaviour
- The bully (bullies) may be asked to genuinely apologize
- Suspension or exclusion will be considered in serious cases
- If possible, the students will be reconciled
- Following the incident and subsequent handling of it, each case will be monitored to ensure there is no repetition
All teaching and non-teaching staff, students and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is and when it should be reported. All students and their parents should know what the school policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying happens. As a school we take bullying seriously. Students and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported. All stakeholders should understand that bullying will not be tolerated. Rather than telling an adult, children may indicate by signs and symptoms that they are the victims of bullying. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and should investigate if a child:
- Is frightened of walking to or from school
- Begs to be taken to school
- Changes the usual routine
- Is unwilling to come to school
- Becomes withdrawn, anxious or lacking in confidence
- Cries themselves to sleep or has nightmares
- Feels ill in the morning
- Begins to do less well in school work
- Comes home with clothes or possessions damaged
- Starts stealing money
- Has dinner or other money ‘lost’ frequently
- Has unexplained cuts and bruises
- Comes home starving [ more so than is usual]
- Becomes aggressive or unreasonable
- Is bullying siblings or other children
- Stops eating
- Is frightened to say what is wrong
- Is afraid to use the mobile phone [or internet]
These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility.
As a school we will use our Life skill, value education and Circle Time classes to help students to understand the importance of caring, friendship, team work, respect, acceptance etc. to prevent bullying. Some strategies we use includes:
- Children involve in framing the classroom rules
- Home/School Agreement ( for senior classes)
- Writing stories, poems or drawing pictures about bullying
- Reading / telling stories about bullying
- Making up role-plays and having discussions about why bullying matters
- Half termly peacemakers work on relationships, conflict resolution and communities
- Work done on protective behaviours
- Anti-bullying performance and linked work in and around anti-bullying week
- Respecting all our differences
Advaith will endeavour to ensure that there is adequate supervision at all times. Aspects of bullying will be discussed along with the appropriate way of behaving towards each other. Any concerns will be dealt with quickly, fairly and firmly. Parents will be involved as and when necessary.
The school will continue to operate its behaviour policy. We will encourage students to discuss how they get on with other people and to form positive attitudes towards others. This includes discussion on what friendship really is. We will encourage students to treat everyone with respect. We will treat bullying as a serious offence and take the opportunity to eradicate it from our school. We will continue to review this policy and its degree of success.
GUIDELINES FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS:
WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU ARE BEING BULLIED?
- Remember that your silence is the bully’s greatest weapon.
- Tell yourself that you do not deserve to be bullied and that it is WRONG.
- Be proud of who you are – it is good to be individual.
- Try not to show that you are upset. This is hard but a bully thrives on someone’s fear.
- Stay with a group of friends / people.
- Be assertive – shout “NO!” Walk away confidently. Go straight to an adult and tell them.
- Fighting back may make things worse. If you decide to fight back, talk to a teacher or your parent / guardian first.
- Generally it is best to tell a grown up whom you trust straight away. They will support you. Teachers will take you seriously and will help to stop the bullying without making things worse for you.
IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE IS BEING BULLIED
- Take action. Watching and doing nothing looks as if you are on the side of the bully. It makes the victim feel more unhappy and alone.
- If you feel you cannot get involved, tell a grown up straight away. Teachers have ways of dealing with the bully without getting you into trouble.
- Do not be, or pretend to be friends with a bully.
AS A PARENT
- Look for unusual behaviour in your children. For example, they may suddenly decide they do not wish to attend school, they may feel ill regularly or not be doing as well with their work.
- Always take an active role in your child’s education. Ask how their day has gone, whom they played with etc.
- If you feel your child may be a victim of bullying behaviour, let the school know.
- Your concern will be taken seriously and appropriate action will follow.
- It is important that you advise your child not to fight back. It can make matters worse.
- Tell your child that there is nothing wrong with him / her. It is not his/her fault that they are being bullied.
- Make sure your child knows our policy on bullying and that they need not be afraid to ask for help.
Making a safe, happier and harmonious environment at Advaith is at the core of our hearts. We regularly monitor with the help of staff and leaders to ensure the school climate is at peace and friendliest.