Anti-Cyber-Bullying Policy

Scoil Naomh Abbáin aims to ensure that children are safe and feel safe from bullying, and harassment and discrimination.  This school is committed to teaching children the knowledge and skills to be able to use ICT effectively, safely and responsibly.

UNDERSTANDING CYBER-BULLYING:
• Cyber bullying is the use of ICT (usually a mobile phone and/or the internet) to abuse another person
• It can take place anywhere and involve many people
• Anybody can be targeted including pupils and school staff
• It can include threats, intimidation, harassment, cyber-stalking, vilification, defamation, exclusion, peer rejection, impersonation, unauthorized publication of private information or images etc.
• While bullying involves a repetition of unwelcome behaviour the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools, September 2013, states:
2.1.3  In addition, in the context of these procedures placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.
WHAT IS CYBER-BULLYING?
There are many types of cyber-bullying.  The more common types are:
1. Text messages  – can be threatening or cause discomfort.  Also included here is
‘Bluejacking’ (the sending of anonymous text messages over short distances using bluetooth wireless technology)
2. Picture/video-clips via mobile phone cameras – images sent to others to make the victim feel threatened or embarrassed.
3. Mobile phone calls – silent calls, abusive messages or stealing the victim’s phone and using it to harass others, to make them believe the victim is responsible.
4. Emails – threatening or bullying emails, often sent using a pseudonym or somebody else’s name.
5. Chat room bullying – menacing or upsetting responses to children or young people when they are in a web-based chat room.

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6. Instant messaging (IM) – unpleasant messages sent while children conduct real-time conversations online using MSM (Microsoft Messenger), Yahoo Chat or similar tools.
7. Bullying via websites – use of defamatory blogs (web logs), personal websites and online personal ‘own web space’ sites such as You Tube, Facebook, Ask.fm, Bebo (which works by signing on in one’s school, therefore making it easy to find a victim) and Myspace – although there are others.
Explanation of slang terms used when referring to cyber-bullying activity:
1 ‘Flaming’:  Online fights using electronic messages with angry and vulgar language.
2 ‘Harassment’:  Repeatedly sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages
3 ‘Cyber Stalking’:   Repeatedly sending messages that include threats of harm or are highly intimidating or engaging in other on-line activities that make a person afraid for his or her own safety
4 ‘Denigration’/‘ Dissing’ someone online.  Sending or posting cruel gossip or rumours about a person to damage his or her reputation or friendships
5 ‘Impersonation’:  Pretending to be someone else and sending or posting material online that  makes someone look bad, gets her/him in trouble or danger, or damages her/his reputation or friendships
6 ‘Outing and Trickery’:  Tricking someone into revealing secret or embarrassing information which is then shared online
7 ‘Exclusion’:  Intentionally excluding someone from an on-line group, like a ‘buddy list’
This list is not exhaustive and the terms used continue to change.
AIMS OF POLICY:
• To ensure that pupils, staff and parents understand what cyber bullying is and how it can be combated
• To ensure that practices and procedures are agreed to prevent incidents of cyber-bullying
• To ensure that reported incidents of cyber bullying are dealt with effectively and quickly.
PROCEDURES TO PREVENT CYBER-BULLYING
• Staff, pupils, parents and Board of Management (BOM) will be made aware of issues surrounding cyber bullying through the use of appropriate awareness-raising exercises
• Pupils will learn about cyber bullying through Social, Personal and Health Education
(SPHE), assemblies, friendship week activities and other curriculum projects

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• The school will engage a speaker to facilitate a workshop on cyber bullying for 5th and 6th classes annually.  Classes 1st to 6th will participate in the ‘Bullying in a Cyber World’ programme
• Staff CPD (Continuous Professional Development) will  assist in learning about current technologies
• Parents will be provided with information and advice on how to combat cyber bullying
• Pupils will sign an Acceptable Use of  ICT (Information and Communication Technology) contract
• Parents will be expected to sign an Acceptable Use of ICT contract prior to enrolment and to discuss its meaning with their children
• Pupils and parents will be urged to report all incidents of cyber bullying to the school
• All reports of cyber bullying will be investigated, recorded, stored by the Principal and monitored regularly
• Procedures in our school Anti-bullying Policy shall apply
• The police will be contacted in all cases of actual or suspected illegal content
• This policy will be reviewed annually.  Pupils, parents and staff will be involved in reviewing and revising this policy and any related school procedure.

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Bullying Report
Name of child being bullied ________________Class ______
Name(s) and class(es) of pupil(s) engaged in bullying behaviour

Location (Places where bullying is taking place Source of bullying concern (Tick relevant box(es))
Playground  Pupil concerned
Classroom  Other pupil
Corridor  Parentconcerned
Toilets  Other parent
School Bus  Teacher
Other  Other

Type of bullying (Tick relevant box(es))
Physical aggression  Cyber-bullying
Damage to property  Intimidation
Isolation/exclusion  Malicious gossip
Name calling  Other (specify)
Brief description of bullying behaviour and its impact

Details of actions taken/to be taken

Signed ______________ Date _____
Date submitted to school authorities  ___________