Bullying is aggressive behaviour arising from a deliberate intent to cause physical or psychological distress to others.
Forms of Bullying
Bullying includes but is not necessarily limited to actions or activities such as:
- Social banter
- Hurtful teasing
- Aggressive body language
- Pushing and shoving
- Malicious gossip
- Racist comments
- Telephone, cellphone and internet abuse
- Damage to the personal or allocated property of an individual (e.g. his/her school desk or locker)
- Physical violence
- This involves frequently sending a cruel or threatening message to a person’s e-mail account or cell phone.
- This involves sending or posting malicious gossip or rumours about a person to damage his/her reputation or friendships. It also includes posting or sending digitally altered photographs of someone to others, particularly pictures that portray the victim in a sexualised or harmful way.
- Impersonation or identity theft
- This occurs when someone breaks into someone else’s e-mail or social networking account and poses as the person sending messages or other information or pictures online in a bid to damage the victim’s reputation and friendships or to get the victim into trouble or danger.
- This involves sharing someone’s secrets or embarrassing information or images online with people whom the information was never intended to be shared.
- This involves threats of harm or intimidation through repeated online harassment and threats.
- Involves incidents where people walk up to someone and slaps them, while another captures the violence using a cell phone camera.
The School’s Stand on Bullying
- Fairmont High School has a reputation for being a friendly and spirited school. Within this context it is accepted that there will a certain amount of physical interaction, a jockeying for position, a creation of a ‘pecking order’ and even some normal banter which will be seen as ‘fun’ by the perpetrators. Great care needs to be exercised to ensure that this physicality, jockeying and play do not overstep the bounds of acceptability and degenerate into bullying.
- Against this framework the school is committed to taking all reasonable steps necessary for minimising all forms of harassment.
- It needs all in the school community to work together to ensure that everyone feels safe and ‘at home’ in the school.
- Teachers and senior pupils have to work actively at being role models.
- The school regards bullying as a Level 3/4 offence in terms of its Code of Conduct and will respond to all proven incidents of bullying on the basis of ‘zero tolerance’.
Specific Actions to Underpin the School’s Stand on Bullying
- The school has systems of pastoral care and reporting which will react immediately when bullying is reported.
- Not only will the school support victims of bullying, but will also provide education and remedial support for the bully/perpertrator in order to prevent recurrences of incidents of bullying.
- Such support will be additional to, and not instead of, punitive action where such action is warranted.
- The school will constantly review its values and responses in this regard, and also its attitude to what constitutes bullying.
Failure to abide by this Policy, as with other Policies at Fairmont High School, may result in disciplinary action as described in the school’s Code of Conduct and School Rules.