ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

ANTI-BULLYING POLICY OF NOTRE DAME OF GREATER MANILA

 

Prefatory Statement

 

The School values a healthy and peaceful educational environment.

All members of the School community, which includes students, parents and guardians, and the community members should be made aware of the negative effects that bullying can have on victims and the School in general, and should work towards ensuring that students can work in an environment without fear.

The School will do whatever is reasonably necessary and possible within its authority to eradicate bullying in all its forms.

 

The School takes a strong stance against bullying. 

 

Bullying is unacceptable in our School and will not be tolerated.

 

  1. Preliminary Provisions

 

Section 1. Legal Basis. This Policy is adopted in compliance with Republic Act No.

10627, otherwise known as the “Anti-Bullying Act of 2013”.

 

Section 2. Scope and Coverage. This Policy applies to the Kindergarten, Elementary, and  High  School  programs  at  the  NOTRE DAME OF GREATER MANILA,  hereafter  referred  to  as  the “School”.

 

Section 3. The following shall be the parties and/or  stakeholders in bullying incidents:

 

  1. Bully - refers to a student who commits any of the acts of bullying as defined in R.A. No. 10627, its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), and this Policy. This term also includes a student who participates in any of the acts of bullying by supporting or aiding the commission thereof.

 

  1. Bystander - refers to any student who witnesses or has personal knowledge of any actual or perceived acts or incidents of bullying or retaliation as defined by R.A. No. 10627, its IRR, and this Policy. Bystanders include the silent majority of students who witness bullying but are unable to do something because of fear; and those who try to stop bullying by defending the victim or reporting the incident.

 

  1. Bullied or Victim refers to any student who experiences the acts of bullying or retaliation as defined by R.A. No. 10627, its IRR, and this Policy.

 

  1. Parent or Guardian – refers to the parent or guardian, of either the bully or victim, or other students involved in the bullying incident, on record with the School.

 

  1. School – refers to NOTRE DAME OF GREATER MANILA.

 

  1. School Personnel – refers to all staff and employees of the School; regardless of rank or  status;  whether  classified  as  academic,  academic-support,  or  non-academic;  and  whether  full-time  or  part-time;  and  whether  probationary, contractual, or regular.

 

  1. Service Providers - refers to outsourced personnel of the school, which includes, but is not necessarily limited to, maintenance and security, coaches, trainors, and drivers and staff of accredited transport or bus services.

 

  1. Prohibition on Bullying

 

Section 4. Statement of Policy. The School as a matter of policy prohibits bullying in all its forms, regardless of the means, place and time of its commission.

 

Section 5. Definition of Bullying. The School adheres to the definition of bullying including the different forms, as provided in the IRR of R.A. No. 10627, which provides:

 

“Bullying” refers to any severe, or repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another student that has the effect of actually causing or placing the latter in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm or damage to his property; creating a hostile environment at school for the other student; infringing on the rights of another student at school; or materially and substantially disrupting the education process or the orderly operation of a school; such as, but not limited to, the following:

 

(1) Any  unwanted  physical  contact  between  the  bully  and  the  victim  like punching, pushing, shoving, kicking, slapping, tickling, headlocks, inflicting school pranks, teasing, fighting and the use of available objects as weapons;

 

(2) Any act that causes damage to a victim’s psyche and/or   emotional well- being;

 

(3) Any  slanderous  statement  or  accusation  that  causes  the  victim  undue emotional distress like directing foul language or profanity at the target, name- calling, tormenting and commenting negatively on victim’s looks, clothes and body;

 

(4) “Cyber- bullying” or any bullying done through the use of technology or any electronic   means.   The   term   shall   also   include   any   conduct   resulting   to harassment, intimidation, or humiliation, through the use of other forms of technology, such as, but not limited to texting, email, instant messaging, chatting, internet, social media, online games, or other platforms or formats as defined in DepED Order No. 40, s. 2012.

 

Section 6. Other Forms of Bullying. The term “bullying” shall also include:

 

(1) “Social bullying” – refers to any deliberate, repetitive and aggressive social behavior intended to hurt others or to belittle another individual or group

 

(2) “Gender-based bullying” – refers to any act that humiliates or excludes a person on the basis of perceived or actual sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI);

 

(3) Retaliation against a student who reports bullying, who provides information during an investigation of bullying, or who is a witness to or has reliable information about bullying; and

 

(4) All other forms of bullying analogous to those provided under the Anti- Bullying Law and its IRR.

 

Section 7. Common Forms of Bullying. The common forms of bullying shall include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:

 

  1. Calling names with the express purpose of humiliating, embarrassing a student, or otherwise cause trouble.

 

  1. Rudeness and Intimidation. These may be done through unwanted physical acts but may also be carried through non-verbal means.

A mean look or stare is an example of a non-verbal bullying.

 

  1. Threats and extortion. Creating fear and extorting money, food or possessions from other students. Threatening texts or messages in chat rooms and social media sites are included in this form.

 

  1. Malicious gossip and exclusion from the group. Circulating gossip or damaging stories that tends to discriminate, exclude, and hate another student.

 

Section 8. Fair and equal treatment of bullying incidents. The School shall address each and every bullying incident fairly and equally. All forms of bullying should be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately.

 

  1. Malicious gossip and exclusion from the group. Circulating gossip or damaging stories that tends to discriminate, exclude, and hate another student.

 

Section 8. Fair and equal treatment of bullying incidents. The School shall address each and every bullying incident fairly and equally. All forms of bullying should be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately.

  1. On  Campus.   School  Grounds  including  classrooms,  hallways,  cafeteria,  canteen, faculty rooms, auditorium, gymnasium, computer rooms, laboratories, and all places and facilities within the campus.

 

  1. Off-Campus which covers:

 

1)  properties   immediately   adjacent   to   School   grounds   including   places   or establishments frequented by our students if the act or acts create a hostile environment  at school for the victim or infringes on the rights of the victims in school.

 

2)  any other place where school-sponsored or school-related activities, functions or programs are conducted;

3)  School bus stops;

4)  School service, buses, or transport used by the School in an activity off-campus; and

5)  School buses or School services operated or accredited by the School to transport

students to and from the campus.

 

 

  1. On Cyberspace. Text messages, emails, chat rooms, and other social media and web sites regardless of the web site administrator’s permission to use foul or explicit language or content, or absence of any particular standard of use.

 

III. Prevention Programs

 

Section 10. The School shall raise the awareness of the anti-social nature of bullying through various programs; assemblies; activities; and integration in the curriculum as it may deem appropriate.

 

The  School  undertakes  to  develop  anti-bullying  programs  that  are comprehensive, multi-faceted and shall involve all education stakeholders and personnel. The programs may contain among others:

 

(1) School-wide initiatives centered on:

 

  1. positive school climate and environment conducive to the attainment of learning objectives, the development of healthy relationships and the understanding of and respect for individual differences;

 

  1. periodic assessment and monitoring of the nature, extent, and perceptions of bullying behaviors and attitudes of students;

 

  1. periodic review and enhancement of the students’ and personnel’s manual or code of conduct in relation to bullying;
  2. conduct of activities for students, school personnel and service providers on how to recognize and respond to bullying.
  3. continuing personnel development to sustain bullying prevention programs; and f.   coordination with Local Government Units, barangay (Barangay Council for the

Protection of Children) and other stakeholders.

 

(2) Classroom-level initiatives that focus on:

 

  1. reinforcing school-wide rules pertaining to bullying;

 

  1. building a  positive  sense  of  self  and  interpersonal  relationships  through  the development of self-awareness and self-management, interpersonal skills and

empathy, and responsible decision-making and problem-solving;

 

  1. discussion of issues related to bullying, and strategies for responding to and

reporting of incidents of bullying;

  1. teaching positive online behavior and safety and how to recognize and report

cyber-bullying; and

  1. providing an inclusive and caring learning environment for students.

 

(3) Involving parents in bullying prevention activities, such as:

 

  1. discussions on this  Policy,  emphasizing  bullying  prevention  during  Homeroom Parents Representatives  meetings and seminars; and
  2. conducting or sponsoring education sessions for parents to learn, teach, model, and reinforce positive social and emotional skills to their children.

(4) Monitoring students who are vulnerable to committing aggressive acts or who are perpetrators of bullying, or who are possible targets or victims, for the purpose of early intervention. This activity shall be conducted with utmost confidentiality and respect for all parties concerned.

 

Section 11. Early Detection of Bullying. There are signs indicative that a student is being bullied in school. A change in the student’s behavior or actions, change in the student’s routines, or the absence or presence of other circumstances, may be a sign that the student is a victim of bullying. The teacher, parents or guardian shall check and report to School authorities these changes should they become manifest. These changes may include the following:

 

  1. Feeling sick in the morning;
  2. Unwillingness to go to school and leave home;
  3. Unwillingness to be left alone in the School;
  4. Crying to sleep at night or has nightmares;
  5. Bedwetting;
  6. Doing poorly in class or school work;
  7. Coming home with torn clothes or damaged belongings;
  8. Has possessions missing;
  9. Has unexplained cuts and bruises;
  10. Being frightened to say what is wrong;
  11. Being anxious or lacking in self-confidence; and
  12. Attempting or threatening self-harm.

 

  1. Intervention Programs

 

Section 12. The School shall develop intervention programs to promote the continuity of comprehensive anti-bullying policies.

 

Intervention refers to a series of activities which are designed to address the following:

 

  1. issues that influence the student to commit bullying;
  2. factors that make a student a target of bullying; and
  3. effects of bullying.

Section 13. Forms of Intervention. Interventions may include programs such as counseling, life skills training, education, and other activities that will enhance the psychological, emotional and psycho-social well-being of both the victim and the bully. The purpose of the Anti-Bullying Policy of the school is not punitive but rather educative.  Hence, circumstances of the bullying incident under investigation shall always be considered  in the resolution of every case.  Age of the perpetrator the gravity of the offense and mitigating circumstances shall all be considered.

 

Such programs may:

  1. involve activities that will address acts of bullying;
  2. emphasize formative and corrective measures rather than punishment;
  3. conform to principles of child protection and positive and non-violent discipline;
  4. help the victim, the bully, and the bystanders understand the bullying incident

and its negative consequences; and

  1. provide opportunities to practice pro-social behavior.

 

Section 14. The School shall develop intervention strategies involving all parties, such as bullies, victims, bystanders, parents, school personnel, service providers and all other persons who may be affected by the bullying incident.

 

 

  1. Responsibilities in Bullying Incidents

 

Section 15. The following are the responsibilities of stakeholders in bullying incidents:

 

(1) Bully

 

The “Bully” shall:

 

  1. Comply with the intervention and prevention programs of the

school;

  1. Submit to due process of the school.

(2)  Bullied or Victim The Bullied or Victim shall:

  1. Avoid retaliation;
  2. Report his/her experience to the teacher, Office of

Student Affairs (OSA)/Prefect of Discipline/Guidance

Office, or other persons or school authorities; and

  1. Be circumspect in his/her  claims against the alleged

bully.

 

(3)  Bystander

 

The bystander shall:

 

  1. Promptly report  cases  of  bullying,  that  which  he  or  she  witnessed  or  has personal knowledge of, to the teacher, Office of Student Affairs (OSA)/Prefect  of Discipline/Guidance Office, or any person or school authorities;
  2. Not to join the bullying;

 

 (4) School

 

The School through the Office of Student Affairs (OSA)/Prefect  of Discipline/Guidance

Office, teachers and other school administrators shall:

 

  1. Implement the provisions of this Policy

 

  1. Provide all students and their parents or guardians a copy of this Policy. This policy shall likewise be included in the School’s student and/or  employee handbook and shall be conspicuously posted on the School walls and website;

 

  1. Educate students on the dynamics of bullying, the anti-bullying policies of the school as well as the mechanisms for reporting of acts of bullying or retaliation;

 

  1. Educate parents and guardians about the dynamics of bullying, the child protection or anti-bullying policy of the school and how parents and guardians can provide support and reinforce this Policy at home;
  2. Devise prevention, intervention, protective and remedial measures to address bullying;

 

  1. Conduct the capacity building activities for guidance counselors/teachers and the members of the Child Protection Committee;

 

  1. Ensure effective implementation of the anti-bullying policy and monitor compliance therewith;

 

  1. Ensure the safety of the victim of bullying, the bully, and the bystander and determine the students’ needs for protection;

 

  1. Ensure that the rights of the victim, the bully, and the bystander are protected and upheld during the conduct of the investigation;

 

  1. Maintain a record or statistics of incidents of bullying and retaliation;

 

  1. Coordinate with appropriate offices and other agencies or instrumentalities for appropriate assistance and intervention, as required by the circumstances.

 

(5) Teachers and Other School Personnel

 

Teachers and other School personnel shall:

  1. Participate and cooperate in all prevention, intervention,

and other measures related to bullying by the School;

  1. Report incidents of bullying;
  2. Update himself/herself  on detection and proper handling

of bullying incidents;

  1. Be objective and handle incidents with due consideration

of confidentiality and tender age of students involved;

 

  1. Coordinate closely with the Child Protection Committee

of the school; and

 

  1. Observe due diligence in the prevention of bullying cases

during classes or other student activities he/she  is directly

in charge of.

(6)  Students in General

 

Students shall:

 

  1. Participate and  cooperate  in  all  prevention,  intervention  and  other  measures related to bullying implemented by the School;
  2. Avoid or refrain from any act of bullying;
  3. Report to school authorities any incident of bullying

 

(7)   Parents

 

Parents shall:

 

  1. Participate in bullying prevention activities of the school which includes:
  2. Education on relevant policies;
  3. Sharing of best practices on how to reinforce positive social and emotional

skills to the children.

  1. Cooperate with  the  school  authorities  in  bullying  incidents  involving  their child/children;  and

 

  1. Not to take matters into their own hands in resolving bullying incidents.

 

  1. The Anti-Bullying Committee

 

Section 16. The Anti-Bullying Committee. The School’s existing Child Protection Committee (CPC) shall also be designated as the School’s Anti-Bullying Committee as required under DepEd Order No. 40, series of 2012.

 

Section  17. Composition. The Committee shall be composed of the following:

 

  1. Principal – Chairperson
  2. Guidance Counselor – Vice Chairperson
  3. Representative of the Teachers (Faculty President of the Sector Concerned)
  4. Representative of the Parents (Homeroom Parents Representative President of the Sector)
  5. Representative of students; and
  6. Representative from the  Community  as  designated  by  the  Punong  Barangay,

preferably a member of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children

(BCPC). (ad hoc)

 

 

Section 18Functions. The Anti-Bullying Committee shall perform the following tasks:

18 – A. Grievance Committee – Shall hear cases involving bullying.  It shall be chaired by the individual designated by the Principal and shall have two members one coming from the Guidance Office and another from the academic sector.  The Head of the Guidance Office or  the Head of the Values Formation office will serve as the Chairperson of the Committee when they are ones designated to hear a case.

 

  1. Conduct awareness-raising programs with school stakeholders in preventing and addressing bullying;
  2. Ensure that the anti-bullying policy adopted by the school is implemented;
  3. Monitor all cases or incidents related to bullying reported or referred by the teacher, guidance counselor or coordinator or any person designated to handle

prevention and intervention measures mentioned by the preceding sections of this Policy; and

 

  1. Make the necessary referrals to appropriate agencies, offices or persons, as may be required by the circumstances.

 

VII.    Handling Bullying Incidents in the School

 

Section 19. Exclusive Jurisdiction. Complaints of bullying and other acts under this Policy shall be within the exclusive jurisdiction of this School or jointly by Schools whenever the incident involves students from different schools. Bullying incidents shall not be brought for amicable settlement before the Barangay, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations. Complaints for acts covered by other laws shall be referred to the appropriate authorities.

 

Section 20. Effect of Institution of Criminal Action. The filing of criminal complaint by either  or  both  the  bully  and  the  bullied  before  the  law  enforcement  agencies, prosecutor’s  office,  or  courts  of  law  shall  not  operate  to  divest  this  School  of  its authority to conduct its own investigation, fact finding, and/or  disciplinary proceeding on the students involved.

 

Section 21. Immediate Responses. The victim or anyone who witnesses or has personal knowledge of a bullying incident or retaliation shall immediately call the attention of any school personnel. The school personnel who was notified of a bullying incident or retaliation shall intervene, by:

 

  1. Stopping the bullying or retaliation immediately;
  2. Separating the students involved;
  3. Removing the victim or, in appropriate cases, the bully or offending student  from the site;

 

  1. Ensuring the victim’s safety, by:
  2. Determining and addressing the victim’s immediate

safety needs; and

  1. Ensuring medical attention, if needed, and securing a

medical certificate, in cases of physical injury.

  1. Bringing   the   bully   to   the   Office   of   Student

Affairs   (OSA)/Prefect   of  Discipline/Guidance Office

 

Section  22. Reporting the Bullying Incident or Retaliation

 

  1. A victim or a bystander, or a school personnel who has a personal knowledge of a bullying incident or retaliation, or any person, who witnesses or has personal knowledge of any incident of bullying or retaliation, shall report the same to the teacher in charge, or the Office of Student Affairs (OSA)/Prefect of Discipline/Guidance Office, who shall immediately report the matter to the Principal.

 

  1. The School shall inform the parents or guardian of the victim and the bully about the incident.

 

  1. If an incident of bullying or retaliation involves students from another school during a school authorized or school-sponsored activity on or off-campus, this School shall promptly notify the appropriate administrator or school head of the other school so that appropriate action may be taken.

 

  1. Reports of incidents  of  bullying  or  retaliation  initiated  by  persons  who  prefer anonymity shall be entertained, and the person who reported the incident shall be afforded protection from possible retaliation; provided, however, that no disciplinary administrative action shall be taken against an alleged bully or offending student solely on the basis of an anonymous report and without any other evidence.

 

  1. Teachers shall make sure that no bullying incident should be kept unreported or unnoticed. For this purpose, a Record of Bullying Incidents Form is designed and developed where teachers in charge may keep track of bullying incidents or indications in the classroom or off-campus activities. The same shall be kept in strictest confidence in a central file with the Guidance Office.

 

Section 23. Fact-Finding and Documentation

 

The Office of Student Affairs (OSA)/Prefect of Discipline/Guidance Office shall:

 

  1. Separately interview in private the bully or offending student and the victim.

 

  1. Determine the levels of threats and develop intervention strategies. If the bullying incident or retaliation or the situation requires immediate attention or intervention, or the level of threat is high, appropriate action shall be taken by the school within twenty- four hours (24) from the time of the incident.

 

  1. Inform the victim and the parents or guardian of the steps to be taken to prevent any further acts of bullying or retaliation; and
  2. Make appropriate recommendations to the Child Protection Committee on proper interventions, referrals and monitoring.

 

Section  24.  Referral  to  Experts  Outside  of  the  School.  The  School  may,  upon evaluation, refer the victim and the bully to trained professionals outside the school, such as social workers, guidance counselors, psychologists, or child protection specialists, for further assessment and appropriate intervention measures, as may be necessary. The School also undertakes to notify the Women and Children’s Protection Desk (WPCD) of the local Philippine National Police, in appropriate cases involving the bully or offending student.

 

VIII.   Disciplinary Measures

 

Section 25. Where students resist or refuse to respond to intervention or preventative strategies to address bullying, the School will resort to stringent actions to deal with persistent and violent bullying. Disciplinary actions may or may not be resorted to by the School depending on the circumstances of each case with due consideration to the age of the students or pupils involved.

 

Section. 26. Due Process

 

  1. Bullying cases may be initiated either through:

1)  a Complaint; or

2)  a motu proprio Charge from the Office of Student Affairs (OSA)/Prefect  of

Discipline/Guidance  Office on the basis of a report of the teacher, school

personnel or bystanders.

 

  1. The Complaint should be duly executed by:

(1)  the complaining student with the assistance of his or her parents

 

(2)  or solely by the parents on the basis of their child’s statements.

 

  1. In both instances, the Complaint must be duly sworn to by the executing student and/or  parent stating clearly how the act/s  of bullying was/were committed  and  other  attendant  circumstances.  The  complaining  party  may attach sworn statements of witnesses and other proofs to substantiate the Complaint.

 

  1. The Complaint or Charge for Bullying shall be filed with the Office of

Student Affairs (OSA)/Prefect  of Discipline/Guidance Office.

 

  1. The Office  of  Student  Affairs  (OSA)/Prefect   of  Discipline/Guidance Office shall furnish the parents of the respondent student/s  a copy of the Complaint or Charge and direct the student/s  concerned with the assistance of the parents  or counsel if they so desire within a period of forty-eight (48) hours or within a reasonable period from receipt of the Complaint or Charge as may be allowed under the circumstances.

 

  1. Upon receipt of the Sworn Answer, the Office of Student Affairs (OSA)/Prefect  of Discipline/Guidance  Office may schedule a conference with the Complainant and/or  the Respondent separately to clarify the allegations in the Complaint and the Sworn Answer. The Office of Student Affairs (OSA)/Prefect of Discipline/Guidance  Office may also interview witnesses, bystanders, and others who may have knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the incident.

 

  1. The Office  of  Student  Affairs  (OSA)/Prefect   of  Discipline/Guidance Office shall then issue a resolution on the Complaint or Charge stating clearly its basis. A resolution finding the commission of bullying shall state the appropriate sanction.   The resolution shall be deemed a recommendation to the Principal, which the latter may either disapprove or modify. The decision of the Principal may be subject to reconsideration, or appeal to the Office of the Director within 5 calendar days in cases of suspension of three days or  more or higher penalties.

 

Section 27. Sanctions

 

1)  If the act of bullying committed does not fall under any offense defined in the

Student Manual, the following sanctions shall apply:

 

1.1  First Offense:  Reprimand and Summon of Parents

1.2  Second Offense: Suspension from Classes for three (3) to

five (5) school days, or Community Service for three (3) to five (5) school days, or both. The duration  of  the  suspension  and/or   community  service  may  be  further

reduced or lengthened by the School depending on the nature, gravity or severity of the bullying act.

 

1.3  Third or Subsequent Offense: Non-Readmission may result to non-readmission to dropping from the rolls.

 

2)  Depending on the seriousness or gravity of the offense committed and/or  the extent of injuries suffered by the victim, the School reserves the right to impose the extreme penalty of expulsion subject to approval of the Department of Education.

 

3)  In addition to the disciplinary sanction imposed, the School may, after careful evaluation, likewise refer the alleged bully and/or  the alleged victim for counselling of School’s Guidance Counsellor or to a private counsellor of their choice, or to other intervention programs of the School should it become necessary.

 

Section 28. Preventive suspension. The School may at its discretion and during the pendency of the investigation, put alleged offender on preventive suspension for a period not longer than three (3) school days, if there is reason to believe that the presence of said student will jeopardize the general peace and order of the campus.

 

Section 29. False Accusation of Bullying. If a student, after an investigation, is found to have knowingly made a false accusation of bullying, the said student shall be subjected to the same disciplinary actions or to appropriate interventions for “bullies” under this Policy.

 

Section 30. Confidentiality. Any information relating to the identity and personal circumstances of the bully, victim, or bystander shall be treated with utmost confidentiality by the Anti-Bullying Committee, teacher concerned, and the Office of Student Affairs (OSA)/Prefect  of Discipline/Guidance  Office, provided that the names may be made available to the parents or guardians of students who are or have been victims of bullying or retaliation.

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