EWSA is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our members so they can participate in our sport in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable. If bullying does occur, all members, volunteers or parents should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING organisation. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the club welfare officer or any committee member.
Please note: This policy refers to Bullying of any person.
Each member club of EWSA must have equivalent Safeguarding, Anti-Bullying and Complaints procedures within their own club. This policy and guidance should primarily be used for interclub activities and as a backup.
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 include:
- Physical pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence and theft
- Verbal name-calling, constant teasing, sarcasm, racial or homophobic taunts, graffiti, gestures
- Sexual unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
- Emotional tormenting, ridiculing, humiliating and ignoring
- Cyber All areas of internet, such as email, social media and internet chat room misuse. Mobile phone threats by text message, calls, photos and video.
Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect. Members who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.
We have a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.
Objectives of this Policy
All committee members, coaches, volunteers and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.
- All committee members, coaches, volunteers should know what the club policy is on bullying and follow it when bullying is reported.
- All members should know what the club policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.
- As an organisation, we take bullying seriously. All members should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
- Bullying will not be tolerated.
EWSA is committed to creating an environment where all employees, volunteers and members are treated and treat others with dignity and respect, free from bullying, harassment and discrimination.
We all have a responsibility to help create and maintain an environment that promotes dignity and respect.
Individuals can do this by:
- being aware of how your own behaviour may affect others and changing it, if necessary. You can still cause offence even if you are only joking;
- considering the tone of your communications with others e.g. email, face to face conversation, social media or any other form of communication;
- treating fellow members and anyone else that you interact with in activities at EWSA with dignity and respect;
- challenging individuals if you think inappropriate jokes or comments are being made;
- making it clear to others when you find their behaviour unacceptable;
- intervening, if possible, to stop inappropriate behaviour and giving support to recipients;
- supporting the organisation in the investigation of complaints;
- if a complaint is made, not pre-judging or victimising the complainant or respondent.
The EWSA Committee, Club Committees and those in a position of authority have the added responsibility of:
- setting a good example through their own behaviour;
- ensuring that there is a supportive club environment;
- understanding what constitutes dignity in the clubs and understanding the policy and procedures;
- ensuring that members know what standards of behaviour are expected of them;
- intervening quickly and informally to stop inappropriate behaviour, remembering that formal procedures may be appropriate;
- addressing promptly any complaints that are raised;
- ensuring all staff, members and volunteers are able to work in an environment where their dignity is respected and they are free from bullying, harassment and discrimination.
We can all expect to be treated with dignity and respect and we should all be aware of our responsibilities in promoting dignity at EWSA.
Signs and Symptoms
A child or adult 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:
- 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 possessions damaged or missing
- asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)
- has unexplained cuts or bruises
- is bullying other children or siblings
- is frightened to say what’s wrong
- gives improbable excuses for any of the above
- is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone
In more extreme cases (potentially more relevant to children)
- starts stammering
- cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
- becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
- stops eating
- runs away or attempts or threatens suicide
These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.
- Report bullying incidents to your Club Welfare Officer or a member of the committee.
- In cases of serious bullying, the incidents should be referred to the appropriate National Governing Body or the Police for advice or contact one of the organisations listed below.
- Parents and/or member club should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem
- If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted
- The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly
An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour
If the club decides it is appropriate for them to deal with the situation they should follow the procedure outlined below:
- Reconciliation by getting the parties together. It may be that a genuine apology solves the problem.
- If this fails or is not appropriate, a panel should meet with the member/parents/carers and child alleging bullying to obtain exact details of the allegation. The panel should comprise of the Club Chair, the Club Welfare Officer (CWO) and one other committee member. Minutes should be taken for clarity; these must be agreed and signed as a true account.
- The same panel should meet with the alleged bully and their parents/carers to put the allegation to them. They will be asked to answer and give their account of the allegation. Minutes should be taken for clarity; these must be agreed and signed as a true account.
- If the bullying has, in the panel’s view, taken place the person should be warned and put on notice of further action i.e. temporary or permanent suspension should the bullying continues. Consideration should be given as to whether a reconciliation meeting between parties is appropriate at this time.
- In some cases, the parent/ carer of the bully or victim of bullying can be asked to be present at the Club with the young person each time they attend, if appropriate.
- The Club committee should monitor the situation for a given period to ensure the bullying is not continuing.
- All coaches/ instructors and volunteers involved with both parties should be made aware of the concerns and sanctions.
A Reporting Concern Form is available to from our website.
In the case of adults alleged to be bullying a child:
- The Club Welfare Officer (CWO) or home nation equivalent will follow the Safeguarding Children Policies and Procedures.
- The National Governing Body should always be informed and will provide advice on action to be taken and may treat the allegation as a Child Protection concern.
- The Club will adopt a Safeguarding Policy and Procedures (based on the BCU). This includes codes of conduct for all members and an anti-bullying policy.
- All members will accept the Club Safeguarding Policy upon joining the club.
- The Club Welfare Officer will raise awareness of bullying within the Club. If issues of bullying arise then they will consider meeting with the paddlers to discuss the issue openly and constructively.
We acknowledge our thanks to KIDSCAPE who provide this policy for schools. KIDSCAPE is a voluntary organisation committed to help prevent child bullying.
- KIDSCAPE Anti-Bullying Helpline for Parents 0845 1205 204
- Family Lives 0808 800 2222
- NSPCC 24 hour help line 0808 800 5000
- National Bullying Helpline 0845 22 55 787