You have a right to feel safe within your community and the right to feel safe from bullying.
Bullying is among one of the top concerns that parents have about your safety and wellbeing and can be a significant issue. Unfortunately you are at greater risk of being bullied if you have a disability or special education need and if you are, or are perceived to be, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Bullying can makes lives a misery; it can undermine your confidence and self-esteem and can destroy your sense of security.
Bullying can impact on attendance and attainment at school and can have a life-long impact on your life if you let it.
Definition of Bullying
Bullying is a behaviour which can be defined as repetitive and intentional. It can be physical, psychological, social or verbal by nature. It can be carried out by an individual or group in a position of power. It is done with the intention of causing someone else’s unhappiness or misery for their enjoyment.
In dealing with behaviour and bullying, it is important to understand the difference between rough play, a genuine accident, an angry remark and bullying. For example, ‘friendship fall outs’, as unpleasant as they may be, do not necessarily mean that bullying is taking place.
Agreed by School Council
Types of bullying which can be summarised as:
- Sexual – touching, repeated exhibitionism, voyeurism, sexual propositioning, verbal personal comment or deviant desires communicated
- Racist and faith based – name calling, derogatory assumptions or generalisations about race, culture, religious faiths and beliefs
- Homophobic – based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, and can include name calling, exclusion and gestures negative stereotyping based on sexual orientation using ‘gay’ as a negative term, warning others about a person, graffiti, etc
- Appearance – based on weight, size, hair colour, unusual physical features
- Disability – name calling, exclusion, talking over a person, mimicking, physical overpowering (e.g. moving a wheelchair), laughing at a difficulty
- Health – based on physical or mental conditions
- Income based – of living on a low income
- Transgender – based on perception of gender identity
Methods of bullying which can be summarised as:
- Physical aggression – hitting, kicking, tripping up, spitting, taking or damaging property, use of threat or force in any way, intimidation or demands for money or goods.
- Verbal – name calling, insulting, teasing, ‘jokes’, mocking, taunting, gossiping, secrets, threats. Reference to upsetting events e.g. bereavement, divorce, being in care.
- Non-verbal – staring, body language, gestures, posturing.
- Indirect – excluding, ostracising, rumours and stories, emails, chat rooms, messaging phones, notes, rude gestures or faces.
- Cyber – text messaging, internet chat rooms, the misuse of camera or video facilities including ‘happy slapping’.
Spot it and stop it. All members of the ALNS community should be vigilant and aware of signs of bullying. The aim is to try to combat bullying by working together.
ALNS is a telling school – students are encouraged to report any instances of bullying to members of staff, parents, students, student mentors/counsellors, prefects and anonymously online should they wish.
The anti-bullying message is widely advertised in assemblies to develop a culture of zero tolerance and non-acceptance of bullying behaviours.
Every year the School Prefect team take a lead through the School Council around raising awareness of bullying and the issues it can have. Anti-bullying week is given a high profile through half school and year assemblies, Aspiring Futures lessons, Personal Development days and tutor time activities.
The School website aims to provide useful links to support victims and their parents. It also allows you to anonymously report any incidents of bullying.