STATEMENT OF INTENT
We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our members so that they can swim in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our club. If bullying does occur, all athletes or parents should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING club. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the club welfare officer or any committee member.
WHAT IS BULLYING?
Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim. Bullying can be:
- Emotional – being unfriendly, excluding (emotionally and physically), sending hurtful text messages, tormenting, (eg: hiding goggles/floats, threatening gestures)
- Physical – pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
- Racist – racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
- Sexual – unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
- Homophobic – because of, or focussing on the issue of sexuality
- Verbal – name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO RESPOND TO BULLYING?
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Athletes who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.
OBJECTIVES OF THIS POLICY
- All committee members, coaches and teachers, athletes and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.
- All committee members, teaching and coaching staff should know what the club policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported.
- All athletes and parents should know what the club policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.
- As a club we take bullying seriously. Athletes and parents should be assured that they would be supported when bullying is reported.
- Bullying will not be tolerated.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:
- Says he/she is being bullied
- is unwilling to go to club sessions
- becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
- feels ill before training session
- comes home with clothes torn or swimming equipment damaged
- has possessions go ‘missing’
- asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)
- has unexplained cuts or bruises
- is frightened to say what’s wrong
- gives improbable excuses for any of the above
- starts stammering
- cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
- becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
- is bullying other children or siblings
- stops eating
- attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
These signs and behaviours may indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.
- Report bullying incidents to the club welfare officer or a member of the committee
- In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be referred to the BTF for advice
- Parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem
- If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted
- The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly
- An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour
- If mediation fails and the bullying is seen to continue the club will initiate disciplinary action under the club constitution