Section 89 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 states that maintained schools must have measures to encourage good behaviour and prevent all forms of bullying amongst pupils. Some schools choose to include this information in an anti-bullying policy, whilst others include it in their behaviour policy.
ABA believes that for the purpose of clarity it is better to include it in an anti-bullying policy that is separate to the behaviour policy but which cross refers to the behaviour policy if necessary. These measures must be communicated to all pupils, school staff and parents.
The head teacher must follow through and adopt the policy and all students, parents and teachers should be notified of it once it has been decided. Pupils should be involved in both the drafting of their anti-bullying policy and its monitoring, by being encouraged to discuss the policy and its effectiveness. Involving pupils in this way is compatible with children and young people’s rights to participate under Article 12 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989.
Section 89 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006:
s89 Determination by head teacher of behaviour policy
(1) The head teacher of a relevant school must determine measures to be taken with a view to —
(a) promoting, among pupils, self-discipline and proper regard forauthority,
(b) encouraging good behaviour and respect for others on the part of pupils and, in particular, preventing all forms of bullying among pupils,
(c) securing that the standard of behaviour of pupils is acceptable,
(d) securing that pupils complete any tasks reasonably assigned to them in connection with their education, and
(e) otherwise regulating the conduct of pupils.
(5) The measures which the head teacher determines under subsection (1) may, to such extent as is reasonable, include measures to be taken with a view to regulating the conduct of pupils at a time when they are not on the premises of the school and are not under the lawful control or charge of a member of the staff of the school.
(6) The measures determined by the head teacher under subsection (1) must be publicised by him in the form of a written document as follows —
(a) he must make the measures generally known within the school and to parents of registered pupils at the school, and
(b) he must in particular, at least once in every school year, take steps to bring them to the attention of all such pupils and parents and all persons who work at the school (whether or not for payment).
The Scourge of Bullying
Bullying refers to a type of aggression that is intended to harm others, that often takes place repeatedly over time, and that generally occurs when the perpetrator has power over the victim. Bullying can be physical (hitting), verbal (name-calling), or psychological (rumors or exclusion).Bullying tends to elicit strong emotional reactions from victims and less or little emotional reaction from perpetrators. Bullies seek and attempt to gain power, control, or material things and show no remorse for their actions. Moreover, they blame victims and put forth no effort to resolve the problem.
Cyber bullying involves the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated and hostile behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others. It is aggression using the internet and technology, such as sending mean messages, posting hurtful statements about an individual or pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad. Cyber bullying can take place over e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, web sites, or through text messaging. Cyber bullying, like other forms of bullying, is about human relationships, power and control. Those who bully others are trying to establish power and control over others that they perceive to be “weaker” than them. Those who bully want to make victims feel that there is something wrong with them. Victims should know that there is NOTHING wrong with THEM it is THE BULLIES who have the real problem. Cyber bullying is different from other forms of bullying in a number of ways. While bullying is something that is often under the radar screen of adults, cyber bullying is even more so as today’s youth is increasingly communicating in ways that are often unknown to adults and away from their supervision. Cyber bullying is also different in that it is a particularly cowardly form of bullying. Cyber bullies can more easily hide behind the anonymity that the internet can provide. Cyber bullies can communicate their hurtful messages to very wide audience with remarkable speed. Cyber
bullies do not have to own their actions, as it is usually very difficult to identify cyber bullies, so they do not fear being punished for their actions.
Cyber bulling is often outside of the legal reach of schools and school boards as this behaviour often happens outside of schools, on home computers or via mobile phones. Victims of bullying are often fearful of telling others because they fear that bullying may actually become worse if they tell. Victims of cyber bullying are often also afraid to report to adults as they fear that adults will over react and take away their mobile phone, computer and or internet access. This is something that is increasingly unthinkable for the “Always on” generation. Not being online means not being able to socialize or communicate with their peers and this fear of exclusion is paramount in the lives of most adolescents and teens. Awareness and education are the keys to the prevention of Cyber bullying!
By implementing comprehensive programs that improve overall school climate and reduce minor disruption, schools may be able to reduce the risk of more serious violent incidents. Violence prevention strategies in schools can be divided into two broad types: curriculum-based programs and whole-school (or environmental) strategies. Curriculum-based programs are implemented in a classroom setting and typically aim to improve students’ social and problem-solving skills for dealing with conflict and managing violence. Whole-school (or environmental) approaches seek to influence the school environment through a variety of strategies, such as increasing supervision of the school grounds, clarifying rules and consequences f
or student behavior, establishing reward systems to encourage positive behaviors, and training staff in classroom management.
Consistently, programs that effectively cut violence are
Proactive rather than reactive,
Involve families, students and the community,
Include multiple components that can effectively address the complexity of school disruption and violence.
Indeed, preventive programs, such as bullying prevention, peer mediation, or anger management, have far more data available to support their effectiveness than do technology-based fixes such as metal detectors or video surveillance cameras.
Handling Cyber Bullying
1. Never give out or share personal information numbers (PIN), etc.
Personal information includes your name, the names of friends or family, your address, phone number, school name. It also includes pictures of yourself and your email address. Password are secret never tell anyone your password except your parents or guardian.
2. Don’t believe everything you read
Just because someone online tells you that they are 15 doesn’t mean they are telling the truth.
3. Use Netiquette
Be polite to others online just as you would offline. If someone treats you rudely, do not respond. Online bullies are just like offline ones-they want you to answer (don’t give them the satisfaction).
4. Never send a message to others when you are angry
Wait until you have had time to calm down and think. Do your best to make sure that your messages are
calmly and factually written. Once you’ve sent a message, it is VERY hard to undo the damage.
5. Never open a message from someone you don’t know
If in doubt about it, ask your parents, guardian or another adult.
6. If it doesn’t look or “feel right”, it probably isn’t
Trust your instincts. While surfing the internet, if you find something that you don’t like, makes you feel uncomfortable or scares you, turn off the computer and tell an adult.
7. You don’t have to be “Always on” , Turn off, disconnect, unplug
Give yourself a break. Don’t stay online or connected too long. Spend time with your family and friends offline. Try a little less virtual reality and a lot more actual reality!
8. Sign on the dotted line
Create a contract with your parents or guardians.
9. Do not keep this to yourself! You are NOT alone!
Tell an adult you know and trust! It is very hard to solve such problems on your own.
10. Don’t reply to messages from cyberbullies!!!
Even though you may really want to, this is exactly what cyberbullies want. They want to know that
they’ve got you worried and upset.
“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”
-- John F. Kennedy