ANTI-BULLYING POLICY FOR DONCASTER ATHLETIC CLUB
Statement of Intent
We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our members so they can participate in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our club. If bullying does occur, all athletes 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.
Bullying can be:
Emotional – being unfriendly, excluding (emotionally and physically) sending hurtful text messages, tormenting, (e.g. hiding spikes/clothing, 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
NB – these are just examples and not an exhaustive list of the various actions that can be construed as bullying.
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. Athletes who bully need to learn different ways of behaving.
This club has a responsibility to respond promptly, and effectively, to issues of bullying.
Objectives of this Policy
All committee members, coaches, athletes, parents and club members should have an understanding of what bullying is.
All committee members, and coaching staff should know what the club policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported.
All athletes and parents should know what the club policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.
As a club we take bullying seriously. Athletes and parents should be assured that they would be supported if bullying is reported.
Bullying will not be tolerated.
Signs and Symptoms
A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he, or she, is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:
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becomes withdrawn, anxious, or lacking in confidence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 athletics equipment 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
cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
is bullying other children or siblings
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
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 UK Athletics for advice
3. Parents should be informed and 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.
Recommended club action
If Doncaster A.C. decides it is appropriate for them to deal with the situation, they should follow the procedure outlined below.
1) Attempt at reconciliation, by getting the relevant 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, Welfare Officer, Secretary, committee members) should meet with the child alleging bullying, and their parent / guardian, 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 club representatives 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 the view of the club officials, taken place, the athletes should be warned and put on notice of potential 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 athletes, 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 parties, 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 athletes under 18
1. UK Athletics 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 coach, child protection awareness training may be recommended.
3. More serious cases may be referred to the police, social services or judicial complaints procedure.
The club will have a written constitution, which includes what is acceptable and proper behaviour for all members, of which the anti-bullying policy is one part.
All athletes and parents will sign to accept the constitution 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 athletes to discuss the issue openly and constructively
This policy is based on that provided to schools by KIDSCAPE.
KIDSCAPE is a voluntary organisation committed to help prevent child bullying.
KIDSCAPE can be contacted on 0207 730 3300.
The ASA have assisted in the formation of this policy document