We believe that bullying of any kind is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our school. We take all incidents of bullying seriously. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. We believe that where bullying is challenged effectively pupils will feel safe and happy and we will demonstrate a school that cares. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect and pupils who are bullying others need to learn different ways of behaving.
At Whitehall Park School, we acknowledge that bullying can and does happen from time to time and that bullying can happen to adults in the workplace. When bullying does occur, everyone should feel able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively in accordance with our school anti-bullying policy.
All children have the right to be protected from physical, emotional and mental violence; a right enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Children also have the right to learn, live, travel and play in a safe environment where they can thrive and achieve their full potential.
What is bullying?
We define bullying as follows:
Bullying is when an individual or group deliberately hurts another or makes them feel unhappy. Bullying behaviour will be repeated over a period of time and is difficult for the victim to defend against. Bullying may also be racist, sexist, or homophobic. People can be bullied for any reason; because of the way they look, because of their religion, their age, because of a learning or physical disability for example.
Bullying is a blight on the lives of our children which inhibits full participation in education and learning, cultural, social and leisure activities. Whatever the reason, bullying is never acceptable and will not be tolerated in our school.
Bullying can take many forms, but three main types are:
Physical – hitting, kicking, spitting, demanding money or belongings.
Verbal – name calling, insults making racist, sexist, homophobic or offensive remarks.
Indirect – excluding or ‘blanking’, spreading gossip, damaging property, offensive or abusive emails, text messages or posts on websites – known as ‘cyber bullying’. We believe that bullying someone by email or text messages is still hurtful and will be dealt with in the same manner.
Bullying is not:
It is important to understand that bullying is not the odd occasion of falling out with friends, name calling, arguments or when the occasional trick or joke is played on someone. It is bullying if it is done several times on purpose.
Children sometimes fall out and say things because they are upset. When occasional problems of this kind arise, although unkind, it is not classed as bullying. It is an important part of children’s development to learn how to deal with friendship breakdowns or a childish prank. We all have to learn how to deal with these situations and develop skills to repair relationships.
The aim of the school anti-bullying policy is to try to prevent and deal with any behaviour deemed as bullying. We are committed to ensuring that the school community works together to create a happy, safe, caring and stimulating environment. We create an ethos where bullying is regarded as unacceptable so that a safe and secure environment is created for everyone to learn and work in. All members of the school community have the responsibility to recognise bullying when it occurs and take appropriate action in accordance with the school policy.
In our school we want:
All children to feel safe to learn, play and enjoy the company of others.
All children and adults to be treated fairly, with respect and dignity.
All adults to feel happy and safe in the workplace.
Everyone to listen carefully to what children and adults have to say and treat all accounts with due seriousness.
Online bullying is bullying carried out through the internet or mobile devices. Online bullying is also sometimes called cyberbullying.
It can happen to anyone, anytime, and can leave you feeling unsafe and distressed. Online bullying can be offensive and upsetting.
Online bullying can include:
sending insulting or threatening messages
posting unkind messages or inappropriate images on social networking sites
excluding others from online chats or other communication
inappropriate image tagging
sharing someone’s personal or embarrassing information online
creating hate sites or starting social exclusion campaigns on social networking sites
sharing unflattering or private images, including naked or sexual images
assuming the identity of the another person online and representing them in a negative manner or manner that may damage their relationship with others
repeatedly, and for no strategic reason, attacking players in online gaming.
For it to be called bullying, inappropriate actions online must be between people who have ongoing contact and be part of a pattern of repeated behaviours (online or offline). Single incidents or random inappropriate actions are not bullying.
One action – such as an insulting comment or an embarrassing photo – which is repeated through sharing and forwarding to others, can be called bullying if the individuals involved know each other, and have ongoing contact either on or offline.
Online bullying has the potential to have social, psychological and educational impacts.
How online bullying is different from bullying in person
While online bullying involves similar behaviours to bullying in person, it also differs in the following ways:
it can be invasive and difficult to escape — it can happen at all hours and while at home
it can involve harmful material being widely and rapidly disseminated to a large audience, for example, rumours and images can be posted on public forums or sent to many people at once
it can provide the person doing the bullying with a sense of distance from the other person, so there is a lack of immediate feedback or consequences.
These important differences should not distract schools, parents and carers from the fact that online bullying is essentially the same as bullying in person.
In fact, research suggests that many students who are bullied online are also bullied in person. If a student reports online bullying, it is important to investigate further to get the full picture.
Here are some useful links for parents and children: