Anti-Bullying Policy

Mercy College is a Bully Free Zone. During the academic year 2006/07 we introduced the ‘Cool School’ Anti-Bullying Programme. Mercy College aims to be a school community where each person is treated with respect and understanding.

This policy applies to all members of the Mercy College school community and relates to all school activities both during and outside of normal school hours. This policy was drawn up in consultation with all the school partners, including the Board of Management, Staff, Parents and Students.

In developing the policy the working group has drawn on the guidelines of the Department of Education and Science and the recommendations of the ‘Cool School’ anti-bullying programme.

This policy has been developed in line with the school’s mission statement whose ethos and philosophy has at its core, care of the student.

Rationale
Our anti-bullying policy operates in tandem with our code of behaviour. The school strives to provide a safe, secure learning environment for the development of our students. Our school code of behaviour is based on respect for oneself, for others and for our environment.

Many people work together in our school each day and therefore a high level of courtesy and consideration for others is necessary. Behaviour that is ill mannered, disrespectful, dangerous or disruptive cannot be allowed.

Our procedures for addressing issues of bullying are based on * the recognition of individual welfare, * the necessity of dealing with each incident on a case-by-case basis and * the constant striving to protect the welfare of all. The procedures used to investigate incidents of bullying are attached to this document, and form an essential part of our code of behaviour.

False reporting of an incident will be treated extremely seriously.

In all cases of bullying this school will strive to protect the safety and integrity of all parties involved and to encourage a sense of responsibility.

Definition Of Bullying
Bullying, as defined in Department of Education and Science guidelines, is REPEATED aggression, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against others. Bullying is systematic and on-going unacceptable behaviour.

Isolated incidents of aggression of any form are also unacceptable, and are subject to appropriate disciplinary sanctions.

Examples Of Bullying – this list is not exhaustive

Verbal abuse
Persistent name calling that hurts, insults or humiliates. When repeated ‘slagging’ extends to very personal, hurtful remarks. These can include comments on the person’s family, race, nationality, religion, academic ability, appearance, sexuality or behaviour.

Spreading rumours
The spreading of information about others in a way which is inappropriate, unhelpful or designed to humiliate.

Isolation
This is the deliberate isolation and exclusion of an individual by some or the entire group.

Intimidation
This is the use of aggressive or manipulative body language or comments.

Mobile Phones
Abusive, threatening or nuisance telephone calls or text messages.

Physical aggression
This includes any behaviour that threatens one’s physical well-being and safety, e.g. pushing, shoving, punching, kicking, poking and tripping-up people etc.

Damage to property
This includes the defacing, breaking, stealing or hiding of items of personal property.

Extortion
Demands for money or possessions.