At Derwentside Amateur Swimming Club we are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all our members so they can swim in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at this club, and if it does occur swimmers and parents should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell their club Welfare Officer or any committee member.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. It can happen face-to-face or through cyberspace, and comes in many different forms:
Bullying can be:
- Verbal: Name calling, persistent teasing, mocking, taunting and threats.
- Physical: Any form of physical violence, intimidating behaviour, the or the intentional damage of possessions. This includes hitting, kicking and pushing.
- Emotional: Excluding, tormenting, ridiculing, humiliation, setting people up and spreading rumours.
- Cyber: Cyber bullying is the misuse of digital technologies or communications to bully a person or a group, typically through messages or actions that are threatening and/or intended to cause offence, anxiety or humiliation.
- Racist: Bullying based on ethnicity, skin colour, language, religion or cultural practices.
- Homophobic: Discrimination based on sexuality and/or gender identity.
- Sexual: Unwelcome sexual advances or remarks that are intended to cause offence, humiliation or intimidation. This could include pressure to send images of a sexual nature.
- Disablist: The bullying of children who have special educational needs and disabilities.
- Based on ‘difference’: Bullying based on any real or perceived difference. This can include, but is not limited to, factors surrounding the way someone looks or dresses, hobbies and interests, family situation or social behaviour.
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. Members of the organisation who are bullying others need to learn to behave more appropriately. Organisations have a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.
Signs and Symptoms
Although a child may not necessarily explicitly state that they are being bullied, they may still display signs or behaviours that indicate he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these signs and be prepared to investigate if a child:
- Is frightened of walking to or from the organisation.
- Doesn’t want to go on the club bus.
- Changes their usual routine.
- Is unwilling to go to the club when they previously could not wait to go.
- Becomes withdrawn, anxious, or lacking in confidence.
- Starts stammering.
- Attempts or threatens suicide or runs away.
- Cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares.
- Feels ill at training times and does not want to go.
- Starts to drop in their level of training or competition.
- Comes home with clothes torn or equipment damaged/lost.
- Asks for money or starts stealing money (in order to pay a bully).
- Has unexplained cuts or bruises.
- Becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable.
- Is bullying siblings or other children.
- Stops eating or has less of an appetite.
- Is frightened to say what’s wrong.
- Is afraid to use the internet or their mobile phone.
- Is nervous or jumpy when a message is received.
- Gives improbable excuses for any of the above.
These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered as a possibility and should be investigated.
Objectives of Derwentside ASC Anti-Bullying Policy
- All committee members, coaches, parents and swimmers should have an understanding of what bullying is.
- All committee members, teaching and coaching staff should know what the club policy on bullying is, and follow it when bullying is reported.
- All parents and swimmers should know what the club policy on bullying is, and what they should do if bullying arises.
- Derwentside ASC takes bullying seriously. All swimmers and parents should be assured that they would be supported when bullying is reported.
- Derwentside ASC will not tolerate bullying in any form.
- Report incidents of bullying to the welfare officer (Karen O’Halleron Hutchinson, 07837 256553), coach, teacher or another officer or employee of the organisation.
- In cases of serious bullying, the incidents are to be recorded by that person and referred to the welfare officer if he/she is not already aware.
- In serious cases, parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem.
- If necessary and appropriate, the police will be consulted.
- The bullying behaviour, or threats of bullying, must be investigated and the bullying must be stopped quickly.
- If bullying is found on the ‘balance of probability’ to have taken place, then appropriate action will be taken. This includes attempting to help the bully/bullies to change their behaviour.
- The bully/bullies may be asked to genuinely apologise. Other consequences may take place.
- In serious cases, suspension or even exclusion will be considered.
- If possible, the members will be reconciled.
- After the incident(s) have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.
We will use Kidscape methods for helping children to prevent bullying. As and when appropriate, these may include:
- Writing a set of ‘club rules’.
- Signing a behaviour contract.
- Having discussions about bullying and why it matters.
Derwentside ASC Club Action
If the club decides it is appropriate for them to deal with the situation Derwentside ASC will follow the procedure outlined in the Club’s Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure.
This Policy is based on that provided to schools and Swim England by Kidscape.
Other Helpful Organisations
Swimline: 0808 100 4001
Kidscape Parents Helpline: 020 7823 5430 (Mon-Wed 9.30am-2.30pm)
ChildLine: 0800 1111 (24 hours)
Child Power Leaflet
Youth Access: 020 8772 9900 (Mon-Fri 9.30pm-1pm and 2pm-5.30pm)
Family Lives: (formerly Parentline Plus) 0808 800 2222
Karen O’Halleron Hutchinson