Our Mission Statement states that we must ‘provide a Christian environment'. As such, we believe that bullying in any form has no place in such an environment. It also states we should be striving to develop the full potential of our students. Such a task cannot be achieved whilst there is any oppression, humiliation or abuse. Bullying goes against the very grain of what has made Ignatius Park special - the supportive and inclusive environment. Intimidation and violence have no place in our community.
It is important to note that bullying or harassment is recipient defined. It is behaviour that can be shown to be repeated attacks of a physical, psychological, or verbal nature. It is done with the intent to disrupt physically or emotionally, but can be an unconscious process, where people are insensitive to the feeling of others.
Some examples may include:
- Hitting, punching and jostling frightening others by threatening the above hiding or damaging the property of others.
- Using offensive names or paying others out.
- Making degrading comments about someone's background.
- Ridiculing a person about their personal appearance.
- Spreading rumours about people or their family members.
- Writing mean or spiteful graffiti about others either in person or on the internet.
- Belittling another's abilities and achievements.
Students have a right to report acts of bullying. When our students are upset, embarrassed, frightened or humiliated because of someone's actions or words it affects their self-esteem and self-confidence. More often than not it will also have an impact on their classroom performance. For this reason it must not be allowed to continue and, when reported, the recipient should feel comfortable and secure with the process.
If it is of a minor nature, it's probably best to ignore it. Show that it does not upset you. The bully is then not rewarded by your response and may stop.
If his actions do not stop then the person needs to be approached - preferably by you and there are a number of ways this can happen.
(a) Go with a friend of yours, someone you can rely on
(b) Seek advice from your Pastoral Co-ordinator or some other adult who may be able to approach that person with you.
If things haven't worked themselves out by now then you need to report the matter more formally. One of the following people would be suitable:
- Your classroom teacher
- Your Homeroom teacher
- Any Pastoral Co-ordinator
- A School Counsellor
- Any member of the College Leadership Team.
If a student feels uncomfortable approaching a member of staff regarding bullying we would strongly encourage them to use the "Don't Turn a Blind Eye to Bullying" link on the school website. This link gives them an opportunity to email the Deputy Principal - Pastoral directly. At this stage a register will be kept and details noted in case there are further incidents.
The person responsible for such harassment will then be interviewed and reminded that such behaviour is inappropriate and not acceptable. If it is shown that there has been a previous instance of such behaviour, then a warning of possible suspension will be made very clear. At the same time it will be explained that the school will not tolerate any reaction against the person making the complaint. Ultimately, students may be excluded from the College for continued bullying.
If bullying or harassment causes harm to a student then this should be dealt with under the Province Child and Youth Protection Policy (Note: "Harm is defined in the Province Child and Youth Protection in Section 5 a copy of which is held at the College")