(Date this policy was last reviewed: April 2017)
Calling Education takes a firm stance and a holistic approach against all forms of bullying, most notably physical, psychological and cyber bullying. The negative effects of bullying in the life of a youngster are recognised. A proactive strategy, which focuses on the personal development of learners through mentorship to create an environment that prevents bullying, is in place.
The school also understands that there are many possible contributing factors to a bullying scenario – the behaviour of the learner being bullied, the emotional framework by which such a learner interprets the bullying scenario, the behaviour of the bullies, etc. Hence, bullying often cannot simply be treated by a cold disciplinary process – a supportive, yet firm approach needs to be followed that involves all parties.
It is important to distinguish between bullying and other unwanted behaviour. Bullying is not synonymous with:
- Mutual conflict
- Social rejection or dislike
- Single episodes of nastiness or physical aggression
All of the above could well develop into bullying with is generally categorised as a repetitive offence that targets the well-being of an individual and is characterised by some imbalance of power.
Should an incident that could be classified as bullying comes to the attention of a school employee, the following procedure should be adhered to:
- If uncertain about whether the incident should be classified as bullying, have a verbal or email discussion with Grade Head of the bullied boy.
- If the incident is not a bullying incident, but another form of unwanted behaviour:
- Have a private conversation with the learners involved.
- Reinforce values of love, respect and kindness.
- Email Grade Head to report that incident occurred and has been handled
- If the incident can be classified as a bullying incident:
- Report incident by email to Grade Head and Connect Group leader of both parties
- Grade Head to have a conversation with both parties to assess severity of situation
- Grade Head to inform Headmaster by email that an incident has occurred and is being dealt with
- Grade Head to inform parents or guardians of both parties immediately by email or sms that an incident has occurred and will be investigated and dealt with
- Grade Head to enforce disciplinary action against guilty parties
- If necessary, Grade Head to call in either or both sets of parents or guardians for further discussion
- If necessary, Grade Head to refer either or both parties for further support.
Secondary bullying and emotional manipulation by the bullied child should be prevented. While bullying should not be tolerated and serious disciplinary sanctions implemented against bullies; resilience and emotional fortitude on the part of a bullied child should also be encouraged.