Incidents of bullying are unacceptable. They can result in children and young people becoming unhappy and reluctant to attend school.
Definition of bullying:
Bullying includes (but is not limited to) the repeated use of—
(a) Any verbal, written or electronic communication,
(b) Any other act, or
(c) Any combination of those - by a pupil or a group of pupils against another pupil or group of pupils, with the intention of causing physical or emotional harm to that pupil or group of pupils.
School staff are there to help support both children and parents when a bullying incident occurs.
All schools will have an Anti-bullying Policy and a Behaviour Policy which set out the measures that will be taken to prevent all forms of bullying between pupils.
All grant aided primary, post primary and special schools are required to comply with the requirements of the Addressing Bullying in Schools Act (NI) 2016 Addressing Bullying in Schools.
If your child is experiencing bullying type behaviour it is important that you try to stay calm; talk to your child and listen to them but most importantly support your child and provide reassurance that the situation can get better when action is taken.
- Listen to your child and reassure them that coming to you was the right thing to do.
- Establish the facts as to what has been happening.
- Keep a written record of any incidents.
- Reassure your child that the bullying type behaviour they are experiencing, is not their fault and that they have family and friends who care about them and who will support them and look out for them.
- Never encourage retaliation or acts of violence in response to the bullying type behaviour.
- Make contact and maintain contact with your child’s school to make them aware of any incidents of bullying type behaviour and to have these resolved. It can be useful to establish a staff member to be your point of contact should you have concerns or if further incidents occur.
- Some schools have access to counselling support services if you feel your child may benefit from this. Alternatively speak to your GP for additional supports from health or in the community.