Statement on Bullying
The MECS Code of Conduct deals with the issue of bullying. The purpose of this statement is to emphasise certain aspects, define bullying clearly and provide a procedure to be followed by victims of bullying.
Bullying is a global problem in schools. MECS seeks to provide a safe, secure learning environment for all and does not tolerate bullying. All members of the school community are expected to base their behaviour on respect for others, regardless of differences in age, status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability.
Definition of Bullying:
Bullying is a deliberate attempt to hurt, ridicule, torment, threaten, frighten or intimidate someone. Bullying is the misuse of power by an individual or a group. Bullying can be mental, physical, verbal and/or psychological in nature.
Examples of typical bullying behaviour:
- Physical Bullying
- Minor assault – prodding, poking, tripping.
- Offensive physical gestures.
- Deliberate damage to property of others.
- Major assault – hitting, kicking, tearing hair, scratching, punching, using
a weapon of any nature; acting either as one-on-one, or else as a
group against an individual/group.
- Verbal and Written Bullying
- Name-calling, taunting aimed at ridiculing, humiliating or belittling someone, including remarks which can be construed as mocking of or offensive to: race, disability, sexual orientation, age, status, appearance or religion.
- Teasing which can be construed as humiliating or embarrassing.
- Spreading of malicious rumours and false information and rumours which are designed to mock, humiliate, ridicule and belittle others.
- Sending bullying text messages, notes or letters.
- Circulating material which humiliates or embarrasses another via electronic format, posters, photographs, graffiti or other means.
- Threatening behaviour and intimidation of others.
- Psychological (Silent) Bullying
- Isolating/ostracizing a learner in any way.
- Intentionally placing a learner in an uncomfortable position.
- Being a bystander who, in any way, encourages or supports the actions of the bully, without intervening.
- Intimidating or threatening another learner in any way to use or borrow their possessions.
- This statement is an expansion of the school’s Code of Conduct.
- All learners and their parents are required to sign the Code of Conduct. In so doing they will also be acknowledging the fact that they understand the school’s bullying policy and that they agree to abide by it and to uphold it.
- All forms of bullying should be reported. A learner may report a case of bullying to any educator. All information will be treated confidentially.
- All reports of bullying will be investigated.
- Records of any bullying will be kept by the school. If it is difficult to ascertain whether the learner is bullying another learner, the name of the learner perceived to be bullying will be recorded for future reference.
- Action to be taken against a perpetrator is listed in the school’s Code of Conduct.