Anti-Bullying Policy

Introduction

This policy is based on the British Rowing Welfare Guidance document WG 1.1 (Model Anti-Bullying Policy), which is itself based on a document prepared by KIDSCAPE, a voluntary organisation committed to helping prevent child bullying, who can be contacted at kidscape.org.uk, or on 0207 730 3300.

However, for clarification, the provisions of this policy shall be taken to apply to all members of the club, regardless of age.

Statement of Intent

The Committee and Officers of Sudbury Rowing Club are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our members, so they can train in a relaxed and secure atmosphere.

Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our club.

If bullying does occur, all members 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. Members who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.

No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Member’s rights are clearly set out in the British Rowing Code of Conduct, and the wilful infringement of those rights will be interpreted as bullying.

Bullying typically comprises a number of minor actions carried out over a period of time, that on their own would not necessarily be subject to disciplinary action, but cumulatively they can be viewed as harmful to the targeted individual, leaving them feeling threatened and humiliated, and resulting in loss of self-esteem, confidence and ability to perform.

Bullying may consist of one individual behaving inappropriately towards another individual, or it may be a group of individuals behaving inappropriately towards one or more individuals. Conversely, one individual may behave in an undesirable manner that is aimed at several individuals.

The club recognises that often those who bully need support and understanding in order to modify their own behaviour.

Bullying can be:

  • Emotional — being unfriendly, excluding (emotionally and physically), sending hurtful text messages, tormenting, (e.g. hiding kit or equipment, 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.

This club has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.

Objectives of this Policy

  • All members, coaches, and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is and what they should do if bullying arises.
  • All committee members and coaches should know what the club policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported.
  • As a club we take bullying seriously. Members and parents should be assured that they would be supported when bullying is reported.
  • Bullying will not be tolerated.

Signs and Symptoms

A member, particularly a child, may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Members should be aware of these possible signs and they should investigate if the member:

  • 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 possessions 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. Procedures

  1. Report bullying incidents to the Club Welfare Officer or a member of the committee.
  2. In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be referred to British Rowing for advice.
  3. Where applicable, parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem.
  4. If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted.
  5. The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly.
  6. An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour.
  7. If mediation fails and the bullying is seen to continue the club will initiate disciplinary action under the club constitution.

Club Action

If the club decides it is appropriate for them to deal with the situation they will follow the procedure outlined below.

  1. Reconciliation by getting the parties together. It may be a genuine apology solves the problem.
  2. If this fails, or is not appropriate, a small panel (Made up from Chairman, Club Welfare Officer, Secretary or committee members) should meet with the member (and parent/s where necessary) alleging bullying to get details of the allegation. Minutes should be taken for clarity, which should be agreed by all as a true account.
  3. 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.
  4. If bullying has in their view taken place the bully 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.
  5. In some cases the parent of the bully or bullied member 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.
  6. All coaches involved with both members 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 members under 18

  1. British Rowing should always be informed and will advise on action to be taken.
  2. It is anticipated that in most cases where the allegation is made regarding a teacher or coach, child protection awareness training may be recommended.
  3. More serious cases may be referred to the police, social services or British Rowing disciplinary procedure.
  4. In cases where a coach or teacher who is employed by an outside organisation is implicated the matter should be referred to British Rowing and to the person’s line manager or as detailed in that person’s employment contract.

Prevention

  • The club has a written constitution, which outlines what is acceptable and proper behaviour for all members, of which this anti bullying policy is just one part.
  • All members and parents must sign to confirm that they have read and accepted the constitution, and its associated policies, 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 members to discuss the issue openly and constructively.
Note:Cases of bullying should be resolved with the utmost speed to avoid further distress to the victim. At worst the guidelines for timescales in Section 8 of the Safeguarding and Protecting Children Policy must be adhered to.