Anti-Bullying Policy/Procedure 

What Is Bullying?

Definitions
There may sometimes be misunderstanding about the meaning of the term ‘bullying'. At STEP we define bullying as a persistent, deliberate attempt to hurt or humiliate someone.
There are various types of definitions of bullying, but most have three things in common:

• It is deliberately hurtful behaviour
• It is repeated over time
• There is an imbalance of power, which makes it hard for those being bullied to defend themselves.

 

Bullying can be:
• Emotional being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding possessions, threatening gestures)
• Physical pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
• Racist racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
• Sexual unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
• Homophobic because of, or focussing on the issue of sexuality
• Verbal name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing

• Cyber All areas of internet, such as  email & internet chat room misuse
   Mobile threats by text messaging & calls
   Misuse of associated technology, i.e. camera and video facilities         

• SEN/Disability bullying:  Examples may include:
   Name-calling based on a disability or learning difficulties
   Name-calling based on Special Educational Needs

 

 The Disability Discrimination Act (1995) places a duty on schools/youth provisions to ensure that any person with a ‘physical or mental impairment, which has substantial and long term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities' is not subject to discrimination

 


Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?


Bullying hurts.  No one deserves to be a victim of bullying.  Everybody has the right to be treated with respect.  Young people who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.

We have a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.


Objectives of this Policy


• All staff, young people and parents/carers should have an understanding of what bullying is.
• All staff should know what STEP's policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported.
• All young people and parents/carers should know what the STEP's policy is on bullying, and what they should do if it arises.
• As an organisation, we take bullying seriously.  Young people and parents/carers should be assured that they would be supported when bullying is reported.
• Bullying will not be tolerated.

Signs and Symptoms


A young person may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied.  Workers should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a young person:
• is frightened of coming to groups
• changes their usual routine
• becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
• starts stammering
• attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
• cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
• feels ill during the session
• has possessions go "missing"
• asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)
• has money continually "lost"
• has unexplained cuts or bruises
• becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
• is bullying other young people or siblings
• stops eating
• is frightened to say what's wrong
• gives improbable excuses for any of the above

• is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone
• is nervous & jumpy when a cyber message is received

These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.


Procedures


1. Report bullying incidents to paid worker who should report to Manager
2. In all cases of bullying, the incidents will be recorded by staff
3. In serious cases parents/carers should be informed and If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted
4. The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly
5. An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour


Outcomes


1. The bully (bullies) may be asked to genuinely apologise.  Other consequences may take place.
2. In serious cases, suspension or exclusion will be considered - Please refer to the disciplinary procedure
3. If possible, the young people will be reconciled
4. After the incident / incidents have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.


Prevention


We will use STEP group boundaries for helping young people to prevent bullying.  As and when appropriate, these may include:
• signing a behaviour contract
• making up role-plays
• having discussions about bullying and why it matters