Vision and Mission of the School
St Dympna’s seeks to provide a quality Catholic learning environment reflecting the Josephite spirit, so that its students are faith-filled and prepared to make a difference. We aspire to be a community which truly reflects the vision of God’s love for all.
Our Mission is to be a welcoming and supportive community where children experience inclusive and empowering Learning and where Faith is inspired by Gospel values.
We, at St Dympna’s believe that we must be respectful of the rights, feelings and beliefs of others and it is our responsibility to assist everyone in our community to be the best person they possibly can. St Dympna’s is committed to providing a safe and secure community for all of its members and will therefore not tolerate any action that undermines a person’s rights in relation to this commitment.
We recognise that our students learn and develop in many different ways and through right relationships based on tolerance, respect and understanding. Every member of the St Dympna’s community has the right to be free from bullying. Therefore, all members have a responsibility to actively practice and promote -
In working towards this, we will endeavour to create a school environment characterised by trust and acceptance. This will be achieved when all in our community ensure that the rights of others to feel safe and secure are respected and promoted.
The following are the definitions of bullying recognized by St Dympna’s.
Bullying is a systematic abuse of power. It typically involves repeated acts of aggression that aim to dominate and cause hurt, fear, or embarrassment in another person. Bullying is generally deliberate and planned, but can also be a result of thoughtlessness. It can be perpetrated by an individual or by groups.
Bullying may take many forms, for example:
Physical bullying: pushing and shoving (where hurt is intended), kicking, invasion of personal space, the destruction of property, tripping, punching, tearing clothes, standing over someone, pushing books from someone’s hands, shooting/throwing objects at someone
Verbal bullying: any comment of an offensive nature that refers to ability, race, religion, gender or sexuality; including name-calling, offensive language, spreading of rumours, using words that suggest stupidity or physical problems, mocking, imitating, teasing, abusive phone calls, laughing at someone’s mistakes, using unwelcome nicknames. This can include electronic and digital forms of communication.
Gesture bullying: includes making gestures (physical, verbal and written) to intimidate or to embarrass.
Exclusion bullying: includes the deliberate isolation (both explicit and implicit) of an individual student from his peer group.
Extortion bullying: the use of force to obtain money, food or personal belongings from other students; harassing other boys to do tasks e.g. buying lunch, carrying materials
Cyber-bullying: the use of information and communication technologies such as email (mobile) phone and text messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal websites and defamatory personal polling websites, to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or a group that is intended to harm others).
Bullying is not one-off incidents such as exclusion or name-calling but persistent behaviour which is designed to hurt, injury, embarrass, upset or cause discomfort to another.
St Dympna’s recognizes the duty of care owed to students during school hours and in instances where a school or teacher is aware, or ought to be aware, or there is a risk, that a student is being bullied. As a school that will not tolerate bullying, St Dympna’s will ensure:
To support the school’s Bullying Policy, parents of students will ensure:
Our school Bullying Policy is closely aligned to our school’s Positive Behaviour Support Program which details a clear set of expectations and behaviours, based on the key concepts of “Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible.” These are detailed in the School Expectations Matrix. There is a clearly articulated Positive Behaviour Process which details the processes and procedures to be followed in the event of poor behaviour which, in this case, would be bullying. The following procedures need to be followed to ensure bullying is appropriately addressed at St Dympna’s.
No Blame Approach
The “No Blame” approach provides teachers with a way of dealing with bullying and harassment behaviours and encourages empathy for others.
Step 1 Interview the victim
Step 2 Discuss the incident with Administration and/or the School Counsellor
Step 3 The Group Process
Step 4 Inform Administration and/or the School Counsellor
Step 5 Follow up
1 Method of Shared Concern
This approach encourages children to state their shared concerns and encourages shared solutions to any problems.
Step 1 Gather to understand the problem
Step 2 Meet the perpetrators individually to acknowledge the problem and to develop a plan to change behaviours.
Step 3 Meet the person being bullied
Step 4 Meet perpetrators to review progress of their agreement
Step 5 Hold a combined meeting to reinforce the changes made
2 Formal Apology
A formal apology is a symbolic social contract which can mend relationships and restore well-being. It can help develop empathy and restore harmony.
Step 1 Acknowledging behaviour has been inappropriate
Step 2 Work out an appropriate time and place for the apology
Step 3 Name the particular offence
Step 4 Explain to the offended person why the offence was committed, that the behaviour isn’t characteristic of the offender, and that it won’t happen again
Step 5 Communicate that the behaviour wasn’t intended
Step 6 Genuine regret should be expressed
Cyber-bullying is when one student is targeted by another or others through the use of digital technology, mobile communication devices or through the internet. The aim of this targeting may be harassment, stalking, threats or other forms of harmful behaviour.
Cyber-bullying takes many forms and may involve websites, mobile phones, chat rooms, email, SMS and uploading of pictures or video. It could involve the sending of threatening messages, communicating false pretences, forwarding other students private communication, posting of humiliating messages or pictures.
Like the traditional definition of bullying, cyber-bullying usually involves systematic communication over a period of time. One-off communication would not normally be considered cyber-bullying except when the communication involves serious threats.