Statement Of Intent
We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our members so they can swim in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our club. If bullying does occur, all swimmers 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, any committee member or any coach.
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 (hiding goggle/floats/threatening gestures etc)
- Physical – pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
- Racist – racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
- Sexual – unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
- 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. If you are experiencing any of the above please talk to your parents then to your squad coach or any committee member.
Objectives Of This Policy
- All committee members, coaches and teachers, swimmers 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 swimmers 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. Swimmers 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 be investigated if a child:
- Says he is being bullied
- is unwilling to go to club sessions
- becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
- feels ill before training sessions
- 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 In more extreme cases
- 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 or ring “swimline”
- In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be referred to Swim Wales 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.
Recommended Club Action
If the club decides it is appropriate for them to deal with the situation they should follow the procedure outlined below.
- Reconciliation by getting the parties together. It may be a genuine apology solves the problem.
- If this fails/ is not appropriates a small panel (Made up from chairman, Welfare Officer, Secretary, committee members) should meet with the parent and child alleging bullying to get details of the allegation. Minutes should be taken for clarity, which should be agreed by all as a true account.
- The same 3 persons should meet with the alleged bully and parent/s and put the incident raised to them to answer and give their view of the allegation. Minutes should again be taken and agreed.
- If bullying has in their view taken place the swimmer should be warned and put on notice of further action i.e. temporary or permanent suspension if the bullying continues. Consideration should be given as to whether a reconciliation meeting between parties is appropriate at this time.
- In some cases the parent of the bully or bullied swimmer can be asked to attend training sessions, if they are able to do so, and if appropriate. The club committee should monitor the situation for a given period to ensure the bullying is not being repeated.
- All coaches involved with both swimmers should be made aware of the concerns and outcome of the process i.e. the warning.
In The Case Of Adults Reported To Be Bullying Swimmers Under 18
- Swim Wales should always be informed and will advice on action to be taken
- It is anticipated that in most cases where the allegation is made regarding a teacher or coach, child protection awareness training may be recommended.
- More serious cases may be referred to the police, social services or judicial complaints procedure.
- This document defines acceptable and proper behaviour for all members with regard to bullying.
- All swimmers and parents will sign to accept the anti-bullying policy upon joining the club.
- The club welfare officer will raise awareness about bullying and why it matters, and if issues of bullying arise in the club, will consider meeting with swimmers to discuss the issue openly and constructively
(This policy is based on that provided to schools by KIDSCAPE. KIDSCAPE is a voluntary organisation committed to help prevent child bullying. KIDSCAPE can be contacted on 0207 730 3300.)