At St John’s we take any form of bullying seriously, and seek to provide support the individuals involved. Our vision is for all children and adults ‘to lead safe, healthy, caring and fulfilling lives…’
How we define bullying
We define bullying as emotionally or physically harmful behaviour which is:
Repetitive, wilful or persistent
Intentionally harmful, carried out by an individual or a group
It is “the intentional repetitive or persistent hurting of one person by another, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power” (Anti-Bullying Alliance).
Forms of bullying
There are many forms of bullying and this can present itself in a number of different ways.
Physical – by being punched, pushed or hurt; made to give up money or belongings; having property,clothes or belongings damaged; being forced to do something they don’t want to do.
Verbal – by being teased in a nasty way; called gay (whether or not it’s true); insulted about their race, religion or culture; called names in other ways or having offensive comments directed at them.
Indirect – by having nasty stories told about then; being left out, ignored or excluded from groups.
Electronic /‘cyberbullying’ – via text message; via instant messenger services and social network sites; via email; and via images or videos posted on the internet or spread via mobile phones.
St John’s recognises that although anyone can be bullied for almost any reason or difference, some children may be more vulnerable to bullying than others. The school recognises that bullying is a complex type of behaviour occurring between individuals and groups.
Roles in bullying
Different roles within bullying situations can be identified and include:
The ring-leader, who through their position of power can direct bullying activity
Assistants/associates, who actively join in the bullying (sometimes because they are afraid of the ring-leader)
Reinforcers, who give positive feedback to those who are bullying, perhaps by smiling or laughing
Outsiders/bystanders, who stay back or stay silent and thereby appear to condone or collude with the bullying behaviour
Defenders, who try and intervene to stop the bullying or comfort pupils who experience bullying.
Some children can adopt different roles simultaneously or at different times e.g. a bullied child might be bullying another child at the same time,
or a ‘reinforcer’ might become a ‘defender’ when the ringleader is not around.
Our children have also written a child friendly version of our Anti Bullying Policy, so this is well understood by our pupils. You can view it from the panel to the right of this article. If you feel anyone is being bullied contact a member of the Safeguarding team immediately.