At Malvern City FC (MCFC), we believe that all members of the club have the right to an environment free from intimidation, humiliation and hurt. We all share a responsibility to foster, promote and restore right relationships. We believe that bullying is unacceptable and we [players, coaches, committee and parents] all share a responsibility for preventing it. This policy provides clear procedures and strategies to prevent, reduce and respond to bullying.
Whilst there is no universally accepted definition of bullying, there is general consensus that Bullying behaviour:
- is deliberate and often repeated
- intends to cause fear, distress, hurt or harm to another
- is action by a more powerful individual or group over a less powerful individual or group
Bullying takes many forms, all of which will cause distress. Examples of bullying include:
- Physical – hitting, pushing, tripping, kicking, spitting on others etc.
- Verbal – teasing, using offensive names, ridiculing, spreading rumours etc.
- Non-Verbal – writing offensive notes or graffiti about others, using e-mail or text messaging to hurt others, rude gestures etc.
- Exclusion – deliberately excluding others from group, refusing to sit next to someone etc.
- Extortion – threatening to take someone’s possessions, food or money etc.
- Property – stealing, hiding, damaging or destroying property etc.
- Cyber – any form of bullying which is carried out through electronic means such as mobile phones, email, chat room, social networking, ‘sms’, web page etc.
How do we prevent bullying at MCFC?
We believe, based on research, that prevention strategies through education that involve the whole club are more likely to reduce bullying. Therefore, at MCFCf we recognise that we all share the responsibility to prevent bullying.At MCFC we adopt the following strategies to prevent bullying:
- Explicit modelling of positive behaviours by coaches at all levels
- Regularly recognising and acknowledging players who demonstrate appropriate behaviours that promote and restore right relationships
- Vigilant training and match day supervision
At MCFC players are encouraged to:
- take some positive action to stop the bullying if they observe an incident
- report the bullying incident to a coach as soon as possible
- make it clear to their peers that bullying is not accepted
At MCFC coaches and committee are expected to:
- take some positive action to stop the bullying when they observe an incident
- pass on information about any reported or observed bullying behaviours to the President for further action
At MCFC parents are encouraged to:
- listen to their child and encourage their child to speak to their coach or committee member at the club
- contact the Club President or Coordinator or Team Manager, if they have a concern
How do we respond to bullying at MCFC here?
Bullying is viewed as a major breach of the club Codes of Conduct and therefore follow up action will align with the MCFC Grievance and Complaints Policy.
Any reports of bullying will be investigated, and appropriate action will be taken promptly. The response to bullying will include:
- guidance and other support for the recipient of the bullying (e.g.re-skilling and re- teaching of strategies, resilience and social skills, counselling, conflict management skills, social networking etc.).
- guidance and support for ‘bystanders’, ‘supporters’ and witnesses of the bullying (e.g. intervention strategies etc.),
- age appropriate and consistent sanctions for the person who is bullying. (e.g. consistent with the Insert club here Grievance and Complaints Policy).
- interventions and support for the person who bullied included in a Behaviour Support Plan (e.g. specific interventions developed to reduce the bullying behaviour, teaching of replacement behaviours, reinforcers etc.).
- where appropriate informing parents as stated in the policy and involving them in any action and follow up.
Procedures for investigating bullying and follow up
In discerning appropriate responses to bullying, the collective welfare of the club will be balanced with the individual needs of the person concerned.
- Preliminary interview(s) will be conducted to ascertain the specific nature of the bullying. These interviews should be with individuals initially (i.e. person being bullied, people witnessing bullying, person engaging in bullying behaviour, coaches etc.).
- The initial interviews should focus on the safety of individuals. This should include:
- a clear statement on the consequences if the bullying continues or if there are any reprisals as a result of the reporting of the incident.
- immediate preventative actions that will be implemented to avoid further incidents.
Decisions will be made as to the level of severity of the incident and whether the parents of those involved need to be informed.
- Follow up interviews should focus on appropriate strategies to assist and support all involved.
- A record of the separate interviews should be kept.
- Regular monitoring and follow up with the people involved is necessary at training and match days.
- Any further recurrence of bullying may result in an issue of warning re suspension and could lead to the implementation of suspension procedures and, if necessary, removal of the player from the club through de-registration