Anti-Bullying Policy

In accordance with the requirements of the Department of Education and Skills, The Dublin Academy of Education has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall code of behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013.

The Dublin Academy of Education recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:

A positive school culture and climate which

  • Welcomes difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity
  • Encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment
  • Promotes respectful relationships across the school community

Effective leadership

  • A school-wide approach
  • A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact
  • Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that:
  • Build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils
  • Explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including homophobic and transphobic bullying
  • Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils
  • Supports for staff
  • Consistent recording, investigation and follow-up of all instances of bullying behaviour
  • Ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.

In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools, the definition of bullying is defined below. This document is available on the DAE website along with the DAE policies.

WHAT IS BULLYING?

Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.

The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:

  • Deliberate exclusion
  • Malicious gossip
  • Cyber- bullying
  • Identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Travelling community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.

Isolated or once-off incidents of negative behaviour do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with as appropriate in accordance with the school’s code of conduct.

However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.

Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with The Dublin Academy of Education’s Code of Conduct.

Indications of Bullying:

  • Unwillingness to attend The Dublin Academy of Education.
  • Unexplained changes either in mood or behaviour
  • Deterioration in educational performance, loss of enthusiasm and interest in school
  • Pattern of physical illnesses (e.g. headaches, stomach aches)
  • Spontaneous out-of-character comments about either pupils or teachers
  • Unexplained bruising or cuts
  • Unexplained changes in either mood or behaviour. It may be particularly noticeable before returning to school after weekends or more especially after longer school holidays
  • Visible signs of anxiety or distress, crying, not eating, vomiting, difficulty in sleeping
  • Possessions missing or damaged
  • Reluctance and or refusal to say what is troubling him or her

Please see Section 2 of the Anti- Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.

The Designated Liaison Persons for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows: (see Section 6.8 of the Anti- Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools)

Principal: Michael-Ruaidhri Deasy

Student Welfare Officer: Dawn McCarron

The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber bullying and identity-based bullying including homophobic and transphobic bullying) that will be used by the school are available in Section 6.5 of the Anti- Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools

All reports of bullying behaviour are noted, investigated and dealt with in a sensitive manner. In this way, it is hoped that pupils will gain confidence in disclosing bullying behaviour. Students are strongly encouraged to report incidents of alleged bullying to Michael-Ruaidhri Deasy (Principal) or Dawn McCarron (Student Welfare Officer).

The school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by The Dublin Academy of Education for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are set out in Section 6.8 of the Anti- Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools

  • Incidents of bullying are reported to staff
  • All reports of bullying, no matter how trivial will be investigated by the Designated Liaison Persons (DLPs)
  • Non-teaching staff are encouraged to report any incidents of bullying behaviour they witness to the DLPs
  • In the case of a complaint regarding a staff member, this should normally in the first instance be raised with the DLP who will inform The Board of Management

The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is set out in Section 6.8 of the Anti- Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools

  • Those who report must feel confident that the information will not be repeated outside the agreed structure unless it required by law to report such information, or unless the information that is received is of a nature or substance that requires it to be transferred to an appropriate professional. In such cases, the student will be informed
  • It is vital that information is acted upon as quickly and discreetly as possible and is not ignored.
  • The victim and pupil engaged in bullying behaviour will be spoken to separately.
  • The victim will be interviewed to express support, to gather information, to assure him or her that action will be taken and to explain that action.
  • The Principal or appropriate staff member(s) will assist the victim in coping with the results of being bullied and in developing ways of dealing with such issues.
  • The pupil engaged in bullying behaviour will be interviewed to respond to the reported information, to gather further information and to confirm or deny allegations.

If Bullying is confirmed

  • The pupil engaged in bullying behaviour will be informed and advised that the reported behaviour must cease.
  • The pupil engaged in bullying behaviour may need help in understanding his/her behaviour and learning new and more appropriate ways of behaving.
  • The pupil engaged in bullying behaviour will be clearly informed that any further instance will result in disciplinary procedures.
  • In cases where The Dublin Academy of Education codes of conduct for students have been broken disciplinary procedures will be taken.
  • Staff members will monitor the ongoing situation
  • The DLP will monitor the investigation of an alleged incident of bullying.

Support

All students involved in bullying are given assistance and counselling through the relevant staff team within The Dublin Academy of Education.

Serious cases of bullying behaviour are referred immediately to the DLP or Deputy DLP who may, if necessary, refer them on to An Garda Síochána.

Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils

The Dublin Academy of Education confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible.

Prevention of Harassment

The Dublin Academy of Education confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the traveller community.

This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the parents.

This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by The Dublin Academy of Education once in every school year.

Date:                          August 2018

Review date:            August 2019

The Dublin Academy of Education