Anti-Bullying Policy

Norman Henshilwood High School seeks to provide a safe, secure learning environment for all and does not tolerate bullying. All members of the school community are expected to base their behaviour on respect for others, regardless of difference in age, status, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

Definition of Bullying

Bullying is a deliberate attempt to hurt, ridicule, torment, threaten, frighten or intimidate someone. Bullying is the misuse of power by an individual or a group. Bullying can be mental, physical, verbal and/or psychological in nature.

Important to Note

  • The contents of this policy must be addressed in the Grade 8 Life Orientation programme by June of each year. Learners joining the school in any other grade are expected to acquaint themselves with the contents of this policy and to ask their Life Orientation teacher, Grade Head or the School Counsellor should they need clarity on any issue contained in it.
  • All forms of bullying should be reported. A learner may report a case of bullying to the Principal, Deputy Principal, Grade Head, an Educator, School Council member, Peer Counsellor or Counsellor. A learner may also place a note in the School Council box but it must contain the name of the writer. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.
  • Peer Counsellors, Life Orientation Teachers and the School’s Counsellors will be available to assist both the victim/s and perpetrator/s.
  • Records of bullying will be kept on the learner’s personal file.
  • Consequences for bullying are listed in the “Discipline System” section of this Code of Conduct.

Protocol to Dealing with Bullying

  • Once the incident of bullying has been reported, the Grade Head and/or Deputy Principal will meet with the victim to establish what has been taking place. This meeting should ideally include the parents of the victim, however if the parents have granted permission, the Grade Head and/or Deputy Principal may meet with victim on his/her own.
  • This meeting to clarify the events and also to ensure that the victim understands and is comfortable with the action that the school will take in dealing with the matter and to ensure that the victim will not be placed at further risk.
  • The Grade Head and/or Deputy Principal will then meet with the perpetrator to hear his/her side of the story, to address the matter at hand and to ensure that the bullying behaviour stops immediately. Sanction will be according to the NHHS Code of Conduct.
  • Should the incident warrant a Disciplinary Hearing with the School Governing Body, the matter will be escalated to that level.
  • The parents of the perpetrator will be informed of the allegation and be offered the opportunity to be present at the meeting with the perpetrator.
  • In the event of the allegations of the victim and the explanation of the perpetrator being at odds, the investigating SMT member will mediate a meeting of the two parties concerned.
  • The parents of the victim and the perpetrator will be kept appraised of the school’s actions and approach at all times, without contravening the confidentiality of personal information regarding either child or family.
  • NHHS reserves the right to call a conference of the victim’s and perpetrator’s parents.

Examples of Typical Bullying Behaviour (Bullying includes, but is not limited to):

Physical Bullying

  • Minor assault which includes prodding, poking, tripping.
  • Offensive physical gestures.
  • Deliberate damage to property of others.
  • Major assault such as hitting, kicking, pulling hair, scratching, punching, using a weapon of any nature; acting either as a one-on-one or as a group against an individual or another group.

Verbal & Written Bullying

  • Name-calling, taunting aimed at ridiculing, humiliating or belittling someone, including remarks which can be construed as mocking of or offensive to race, disability, sexual orientation, age, status, appearance, religion or gender.
  • Teasing which can be construed as humiliating and/or embarrassing.
  • Spreading or malicious rumours and false information and rumours which are designed to mock, humiliate, ridicule and/or belittle.
  • Sending of bullying text messages, notes and/or letters.
  • Threatening behaviour and intimidation of others.

Psychological (Silent) Bullying

  • Isolating/ostracizing a learner in any way, rejection by a group of a learner, threatening looks, refusal to work with any learner/s in a group activity
  • Intentionally placing a learner in an uncomfortable position
  • Being a bystander who, in any way, encourages or supports the actions of the bully, without intervening
  • Intimidating or threatening another learner in any way to use or borrow their possessions or money

Cyber Bullying

  • Circulating material which humiliates or embarrasses another via electronic format, posters, photographs, graffiti or other means (e.g. blogging, FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter or any other Social Media Site).
  • Posting insulting and/or derogatory comments on another’s wall, photos, etc. On FaceBook, Twitter or any other social media web-site.
  • Stealing passwords from another learner or from a staff member and then impersonating that individual or group in communication with others.
  • Sending degrading, threatening, pornographic, pictures via the Internet, e-mail or cellular telephone.
  • Signing another individual up for e-mail, IM Marketing Lists, pornographic sites, etc. without that person’s permission.
  • Creating hate groups and/or bogus profile pages on behalf of another person, without that person’s permission.
  • Internet polling
  • Creating websites specifically aimed at socially isolating, maligning, embarrassing, intimidating or threatening someone else.