Anti-Bullying Policy

Parish of Wicklow & Rathnew

Anti-Bullying Policy


Bullying will not be tolerated.

  • All children/young people are entitled to participate in church and parish activities on an equal basis appropriate to their ability and stage of development. They are entitled to be safe and happy and be treated with dignity, sensitivity and respect. Bullying can be very painful, cause long-term damage, destroy their self-esteem, and hinder the enjoyment and benefits of participation. Leaders will be made aware of the main types of bullying, the signs of bullying and ways of preventing it. They will follow procedures if instances occur and also know that it is usually subtle and hard to observe or detect.
  • Bullying is repeated physical, verbal or psychological aggression directed by an individual or group against others. Bullying can occur at any age, in any environment, and can be long or short-term.
  • Isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour, which should not be condoned, cannot be described as bullying. However, when the behaviour is systematic and ongoing it is bullying.
  • Bullying differs from bossiness, which is directed at all members of a group, whereas bullying is targeted at an individual or a few.
  • Boisterous play may be dangerous, but hurt caused is not deliberate, whereas bullying is always a wilful desire to hurt someone.
  • Any child/young person can be a victim of, and/or a perpetrator of bullying.


  1. I) Types: Bullying can be:
  • Emotional: Being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures).
  • Physical: Pushing, kicking, hitting, punching, “messing” or any use of violence.
  • Racist: Racial taunts, graffiti, gestures.
  • Sexual: Unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments.
  • Homophobic: Because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality.
  • Verbal: Name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing and slagging.
  • Cyber: All areas of Internet, such as email and web, chat room misuse, mobile threats by text messaging and calls, misuse of associated technology, i.e. camera and video facilities


11)   Warning Signs of Bullying

The following are possible warning signs and could be a cause of concern for adults/leaders that a child/young person is being bullied: –

  • Does not want to attend youth group/school/club anymore.
  • Has physical signs such as unexplained repeated bruises or scratches.
  • Has poor or deteriorating schoolwork/coursework and inability to concentrate.
  • Has a possession which is damaged or “gone missing”.
  • Asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully).
  • Continually “losing” money/belongings or having damaged belongings.
  • Changes their usual routine.
  • Is reluctant to go out and has few friends.
  • Have torn clothes, broken glasses, missing possessions
  • Becomes withdrawn, depressed, anxious, or lacking in confidence.
  • Starts stammering or regresses in some way such as bed-wetting.
  • Becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable.
  • Is bullying other children or siblings.
  • Stops eating.
  • Is frightened to say what’s wrong.
  • Is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone.
  • Is nervous and jumpy when a cyber message is received. • Attempts or threatens suicide or runs away.
  • Cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares.
  • Gives improbable excuses for any of the above.

This list is not exhaustive and there are many other possible reasons for the above.


III)  Prevention

  • Leaders and adults will make it clear that bullying is unacceptable and will be treated seriously. They will be aware of the possibility of bullying in the course of supervision and welcome information and respect confidentiality.
  • Anti-Bullying policy with its sanctions takes its place with other polices and rules. All share the responsibility for making the place/activity safe and happy for all.
  • The following methods may help children to prevent bullying.

Include young people in discussions about what bullying is and why it can’t be tolerated.

Encourage young people to take responsibility and report any incidents of bullying to leader.

Review this Anti-Bullying Policy with children/young people involved in our parochial/diocesan activities.


  1. IV) Procedures
  • All incidents of bullying should be brought to the attention of the leader/person in charge of group.
  • All incidents will be recorded on incident report forms and kept on file.
  • Parents will be informed of any incidents of bullying and should meet with leader/person in charge to discuss the problem.
  • The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly.
  • This usually involves first talking to the victim, and finding out about the nature of the bullying, the name of the alleged bully, and how the victim felt.
  • Talking to the alleged bully and also to bystanders and those who may have had a part in the incident, either initiation or joining in.
  • Trying to bring about reconciliation and some ‘circle time’ for the group exploring feelings may help find solutions.
  • Both the victim and bully should be supported and helped throughout the process and for as long as necessary. If necessary and appropriate, the Gardaí will be consulted.


  1. V) Outcomes
  • If possible, the bully (bullies) may be asked to genuinely apologise and be reconciled.
  • Other sanctions may be agreed upon, e.g. time-out of group activity etc.
  • In serious cases, suspension or even exclusion from the programme/club will be considered, as a last


  • After the incident/incidents have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to

ensure repeated bullying does not take place.

  • Some counselling may be necessary to build up self-esteem in victim and or in bully.




Parish of Wicklow & Rathnew

Anti- Bullying Policy Agreement


I confirm that I have read and understood the expected Anti Bullying Policy for Staff and Volunteers working with children in the Archdiocese of Dublin/ Parish of Wicklow & Rathnew. I agree to abide by and adopt these standards in all aspects of my work within the Parish.


Name:  __________________________________                                                                             (printed)

Signed: __________________________________


Parish Group: ______________________________


Date: ______________________________________