Bullying Policy

Harassment, Bullying and Violence Policy and Procedures
Proactive Approach
Reactive approach
Further instances of Bullying, Harassment or Violence
General Principles for Reporting

Harassment, Bullying and Violence Policy and Procedures
Referred to as the Harassment Policy in this document

Bullying, harassment and violence have no place at this school. Bullying is deliberate, repetitive acts which set out to cause pain and/or unhappiness. Examples include hitting, pushing, name calling, threats, exclusion and spreading rumors. Harassment is similar but may involve less direct actions or words which cause worry or distress. Violence is any intentional direct contact which causes significant pain or injury. Our aim is to watch for signs of distress in students, to train students and staff in dealing with these situations and to put in place procedures for dealing with it.

It says in Ephesians 4: 31 "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, brawling and slander along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other."

There needs to be a dual approach in dealing with bullying, harassment and violence; one which is both proactive and reactive. We need to encourage students to report any incidents of bullying, harassment or violence to staff as soon as possible. This will be done by distributing the Harassment Policy pamphlet to students at the start of each year. At the beginning of Term 1 or 3 each year, teachers will discuss the harassment policy (along with the need to care for others) and what to do if harassed. Teachers will also discuss these issues with their classes at any appropriate time during the year.

Proactive Approach
Our school must try to encourage an environment which minimizes these incidents.

1. Encourage caring and loving behaviour in students, and teach relevant Biblical principles.
2. Staff should be watchful and careful in classrooms and on duty in order to reduce these incidents as much as possible.
3. Inform staff and students about bullying behaviour.
4. Inform staff and students how to respond when bullying behaviour is noticed.
5. Regularly train staff in managing bullying behaviour. This will occur during the pupil-free days at the start of the school year or during the mid-year staff development days.

Reactive approach
1. If it is reported or observed, record the details of the complaint if of a serious nature.
2. Interview the student who may have been victimized, and the student said to be doing so, as well as any other witnesses. Record brief details if a serious incident.
3. At this point the staff member may determine that the matter is of a minor nature and therefore should be dealt with through discussion.
4. If a more serious incident is substantiated, report the matter to the appropriate head teacher. With the younger students, have them verbally agreed to stop and report the matter.
5. Explain to the student who is bullying, harassing or being violent that:
* This behaviour is unacceptable and must stop.
* The details may be put in their student record file or Head Teacher's Discipline File.
* A letter may be sent home to parents or carers.
* Further incidents involving the same student will be handled by the Head of Primary or the Secondary Coordinator.
6. Implement a punishment suitable to the age of the child, eg Service task, detention, written project, and in all cases, an apology to the student been victimized. Attempt to rebuild the relationship between the two students.
7. a) In cases of serious violence (that which interferes with the safety of students) it may be necessary for the head teacher to have the student isolated, the parent or carer contacted or the student suspended and removed from the school.
b) In the case of reoccurring harassment/bullying or violence, students may be suspended.
8. Reassure the victimized student, and impress on them the need to report immediately any further victimization or threats.

Further instances of Bullying, Harassment or Violence
1. The matter should be reported to the Head of Primary or the Secondary Coordinator.
2. The following actions need to be taken regarding the student carrying out the victimization:
* The student should receive a higher level punishment.
* A second stage letter should be sent home.
* The student should be directed towards counseling.
* They should be informed that a third substantiated report of victimization may lead to suspension.
3. Place a record of the incident in the student's file or Head Teacher's Discipline File.
4. Provide support for the victim and if warranted, arrange counselling.
5. Monitor the situation carefully in the following two weeks.

General Principles for Reporting
* All incidents should be treated seriously, but appropriately - just as much care should be taken not to over-react as to under-react.
* Where a serious incident occurs, the staff member to whom the incident was reported should take records from all participants where possible. Record should include facts such as when, where and how the incident happened, as well as statements about the effect upon the person being victimized.

The following agreement may be used:
Student Agreement to Stop Bullying, Harassment or Violence

I agree that I will no longer bully, harass or be violent to _______________________________ and that I realise that this is not the right thing to do and I am truly sorry for doing so. I understand that a report will go into my student record and my parent/s or carer will be sent a letter about this. I understand that if I continue to bully, harass or be violent to this student it may lead to a suspension from the College

I know that Jesus asks us to care for others and I will do my best to show other people kindness.

Student's Name: _____________________________________ Class: __________
Student's Signature: _____________________________________ Date: ___________
Teacher's Name: _____________________________________
Staff - Please place the signed agreement in the Student Record File or Head Teacher File

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