Berowra Public School is committed to creating a safe and caring environment in which all students can achieve success, socially as well as academically. As a school community at Berowra Public School we do not tolerate bullying or harassment. Any bullying incident which comes to the attention of students and staff, should be dealt with according to the policy and procedures outlined below. Managing the incident swiftly and consistently enforces our zero tolerance of such behaviour within the school and promotes a safe learning environment for students and staff.
"Bullying is a behaviour which can be defined as the repeated attack, physical, psychological, social or verbal in nature, by those in a position of power which is formally or situationally defined, with the intention of causing distress for their own gain or gratification." (Besag 1989)
Examples of bullying behaviours include:
· Physical – fighting, pushing, shoving, and crowding in.
· Verbal – Name calling, offensive language, threatening, put downs, picking on people because of their race, religion, culture or appearance.
· Gesture – Body language of subtle facial expressions to intimidate, silence or threaten a victim.
· Extortion – Involves more powerful student/s forcing weaker students to give up their food, money or other possessions.
· Exclusion/Isolation – Deliberately excluding a victim from their peer or social group
· Sexual Harassment – Includes touching or brushing up against someone in a sexual or provocative manner, dirty or sexist jokes, drawing or writing about someone's body (especially in a sexual manner), and unwanted sexual advances, showing material of a sexual nature to others.
· Damage to property – Includes breaking, ripping, defacing or stealing other people's property.
· Cyber harassment – includes offensive text or images posted on websites or transmitted via email or cell phones. NSW legislation states all laws that are in place for defamation, intimidation, harassment and discrimination apply to technology as well. This means it is illegal to use technology in any way to threaten someone.
Bullying is an attitude rather than an act. It can be defined as bullying by measuring the effects the acts have on a vulnerable child.
3. PROCEDURES FOR REPORTING BULLYING
3.1 Classroom teacher or teacher on playground duty observes a bullying incident or a student reports repeated harassment for investigation.
3.2 Any incident of a violent nature must be reported immediately via notification to the senior executive of the school.
3.3 Teacher records details of the incident and any consequences on a yellow student notification sheet and ticks the box marked bullying. (Can also place a large capital B in the right hand corner). Please identify the victim of the incident, as these details are included in our records. This sheet once filled in is to be sent to the office to go into the Bullying register.
3.4 If the incident is a report of alleged bullying this needs to be investigated by the teacher on playground duty or an Executive and if substantiated follows the same procedures.
3.5 Where teachers have sought statements from other students or teachers, who may have witnessed an incident these need to be attached to the notification sheet.
3.6 All completed notifications are presented to the Assistant Principal and/or Principal.
4. CONSEQUENCES - THE BULLYING REGISTER
The bullying register is recorded in the ESR Welfare program and is coordinated by the Welfare Committee. Parents will be informed, as will the students.
4.1 The Welfare Committee records the incident details in the Bullying Register and updates notification of action.
4.2 On the first referral to the bullying register consequences may include: counselling by teacher or Executive, letter to parents detailing the incident; detention or in school isolation.
4.3 On the second referral to the bullying register consequences will include: further counselling of the student, letter to parents detailing the incident; referral to school counsellor; follow up anti-bullying program conducted by the Executive; detention or in school isolation.
4.4 On the third referral the student is referred to the Executive for suspension/isolation; student is to complete set school work whilst out of school and submit during return from suspension interview.