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 Anti-Bullying Policy

Rationale

St Ita’s community acknowledges that each person has the right to be treated with dignity and to feel safe and secure within the school environment. To ensure that these rights are further guaranteed, we have surveyed our parents, staff and students regarding their perceptions of safety and bullying here at St Ita’s. This policy complements existing policies and procedures here at St Ita’s and addresses the primary issues raised during the consultation process. The existing policies and procedures include the following:

· Behaviour Management Policy
· Social Skills Programmes
· Protective Behaviours Programme


What is bullying?

Bullying occurs when an individual is repeatedly exposed, over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more persons. Bullying involves:

· A desire to hurt
· A hurtful action
· A power imbalance
· An unjust use of power
· Repetition of the negative behaviours
· Evident enjoyment by the aggressor
· A sense of being oppressed on the part of the victim.


Policy

We will not tolerate bullying. We can do something about it. Remember that every reported incident will be investigated and it is right for you to tell someone if you, or your friends, are feeling bullied or unsafe.


Aims

1. To nurture and promote the holistic development of each person.

2. To promote an understanding that no form of bullying is acceptable.

3. To teach and encourage resilience in all members of the St Ita’s community.

4. To encourage a supportive network among students, staff and parents.

5. To regularly reiterate the importance of Protective Behaviour ‘networks’ and procedures.

6. To raise awareness and tolerance of the multicultural and multifaith aspects of our community.

7. To affirm and encourage positive behaviours.


We will:

1. display anti-bullying information throughout school.

2. promote resilient behaviours regularly at assemblies.

3. publicly affirm positive behaviours.

4. actively employ peer mediators.

5. report all incidents verbally or in writing to Administration Staff

6. ensure that all reports are acted upon.

7. regularly forward up-to-date information to parents and caregivers regarding this policy.


The Role of Conflict Resolution and Peer Mediation

St Ita’s School believes that, in the first instance, all grievances and conflicts between children can be resolved at the classroom level, with the assistance of trained peer mediators. Each Year 5 class will have received 12 months training in this whole school approach. Some of the skills learned include active listening, willingness to resolve, negotiation and mediation and record keeping.
Each class will have peer mediators appointed who interact with students and who are available to listen to concerns and provide assistance in resolving these. In some cases, children may feel more comfortable discussing concerns with peers rather than teachers.
Peer mediators will provide weekly reports of mediation they have handled. They will meet regularly with the Guidance Counsellor/Principal to provide feedback.


If Peer Mediation is Unsuccessful

*The complainant and the respondent will meet with the Principal, teacher or delegate.
Action will be decided upon. Documentation will be kept. No further action.
*Repeated incidents by the same child/children will require parent/guardian consultation with the Principal. Action will be decided upon. Documentation will be kept. No further action.
*Individual behaviour modification programmes for repeat offenders will be instigated and monitored.
*If this is unsuccessful, enrolment may be reviewed.
At all times, positive behaviours will be affirmed.

Evaluation

A review of the St Ita’s Bullying Policy will take place annually. This will include staff, students and parents. Parental support will be encouraged and affirmed at all times. As part of the commitment to St Ita’s, parents and caregivers will be encouraged to provide a written response as to the policy’s effectiveness, at the end of each school year.