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The Trinity Handbook

Bullying

Bullying

(To be used in conjunction with Behaviour Policy and the Pastoral Programme)

Very few parents imagine that their own child could be a bully.  Most parents hope that their own children are never bullied.  Most bullies do not seem to appreciate that their behaviour constitutes bullying.

What is bullying?

Any behaviour which causes a more vulnerable person to be unhappy can constitute bullying, especially if it is repeated and/or tends to occur when the 'bully' is accompanied by a 'friend' or 'friends' whose tacit support adds to the feelings of vulnerability of the recipient of the behaviour. Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological. A child can be equally hurt by being 'sent to Coventry' and 'excluded' by erstwhile friends as by physical attack.

Changing the behaviour of the bully and the victim:

(Professor John Pearce, Nottingham University)

Bullying occurs where someone uses their greater power to cause pain and distress.

Bullying can be controlled.

Don't expect children to sort it out alone. Parents and teacher must take full responsibility.

Victims can be helped by:

  • FIRST STOPPING THE BULLYING
  • improving communication
  • keeping a diary of bullying
  • preparing for bullying and arranging protection
  • training assertiveness
  • improving self-esteem

The underlying causes of bullying include:

  • permissive attitudes to aggression
  • exposure to violent behaviour or emotions
  • power assertive discipline
  • lack of affectionate involvement with parents and others
  • aggressive predisposition and temperament

Bullying can be prevented by:

  • agreement that bullying is totally unacceptable
  • close supervision
  • avoiding exposure to violence
  • teaching awareness of feelings
  • improving communication
  • training appropriate assertiveness

Bullies can be helped by:

  • teaching how to manage aggressive impulses
  • giving insight into the plight of the victim
  • promoting caring and responsibility
  • channelling aggression into other activities
  • insisting that the bully makes amends for the distress they cause.