Mayfield School – Anti-bullying

At Mayfield School, all students have a right to learn and all teachers have a right to teach free from intimidation and fear. As a result, we will not condone or tolerate bullying of any kind. We pride ourselves on providing a safe and caring environment for all of our pupils to flourish – all members of the school community (teachers, pupils, support staff and governors) are given training on how to spot bullying and how to deal with it when it occurs.

Everyone has a responsibility in ensuring that bullying does not take place and that all reported incidents will always be taken seriously. Support will be provided for bullied pupils – they will be listened to and helped with positive strategies to help them cope. Appropriate sanctions and challenge will be put in place to help bullies change their behaviour.

For more details, please refer to our Anti-Bullying Policy.

Reporting and tackling bullying

The government defines bullying as:

“Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally”

If you suspect that you (or someone you know) is the target of bullying then there are several steps you can take. Please read the relevant sections below.

Pupils

Where you suspect that bullying has taken place towards yourself or another pupil you should report it to any member of staff as soon as you can. You may, where appropriate, also offer the following actions:

  • Step in to protect the pupil who is being bullied (unless it is unsafe to do so).
  • Offer emotional support to the pupil being bullied – ask them if they are ok and if there is anything that can be done to support them.
  • Encourage and support them to report the incident themselves to a parent or member of staff.
  • Email stopbullying@mayfield.portsmouth.sch.uk – any emails received here will be passed on to the relevant member of staff.
  • https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/ provides some good advice around cyberbullying – this should not be in place of reporting it to a parent or member of staff.

Parents

Be alert for any changes in your child’s behaviour as outlined in section 2 (page 5) of our Anti-Bullying Policy. If you suspect that your child is the target of bullying then please reassure them and listen to their concerns. It is important to report the incident(s) to any member of staff (ideally your child’s form tutor or Head of House), even if your child doesn’t want you to – although these things sometimes ‘peter out’ by themselves this does not address the bully’s behaviour and prevent it happening again.

Under no circumstances should parents confront suspected bullies or their family members – this never calms a situation down and will often result in the bullying becoming worse for your child.

Cyberbullying

The misuse of technology and social media has become an increasingly common form of bullying.

Whilst the government have identified that the school have a responsibility to investigate and act upon reported incidents of bullying (including cyberbullying) it is important to note that we can only sanction pupils anywhere that they are “on school premises or under our ‘lawful control’ ”. This means that we cannot sanction pupils for any bullying whilst they are under the lawful responsibility of their parents. We can, however, work with the families of the affected pupils to ensure that sanctions are put into place by parents, to support the victim and ensure that they are safe at school and, where relevant, ensure that the relevant authorities are contacted.

Where you suspect that cyberbullying has taken place it is important to still inform your child’s house tutor (or in their absence their Head of House) as the bullying may also be taking place in other forms. We can inform you of the best actions to take and whether or not to report the incidents to the relevant authorities.

Advice for parents on cyberbullying is an extremely useful document for parents and provides good advice for how to deal with cyberbullying as well as links to other sites that can help you and your child if they are the target of cyberbullying.

For advice on how to report cyberbullying or abuse on social media please see here:

Facebook

Facebook does not tolerate bullying and say they will remove bullying content when they become aware of it and may disable the account of anyone who bullies or attacks another. They have a set of community standards that they adhere to and it states that they will not tolerate:

  • Pages that identify and shame private individuals,
  • Images altered to degrade private individuals,
  • Photos or videos of physical bullying posted to shame the victim,
  • Sharing personal information to blackmail or harass people and
  • Repeatedly targeting other people with unwanted friend requests or messages.

You can report bullying on Facebook using the report links which appear near the content itself, normally on a drop down arrow which gives you menu option to report the image, post or comment.

Twitter

If you receive a tweet or reply that you don't like, you can unfollow that person. If they continue to contact you, you can block the user (just click on the head icon on their profile and select block user). You may find that as they are unable to get through to you, they will lose interest. However, if this is not the case and you continue to receive unwanted replies, abuse or threats, you can report it here straight to Twitter directly. If you know a friend or family member is being abused on Twitter, they have advice pages that can help with step by step help.

YouTube

You have every right to use YouTube without fear of being subjected to bullying or harassment. Bullying can be reported and action taken when things cross a line.  To flag a video you think is inappropriate (click on the little flag bottom right of the video) and YouTube will take a look at it to see whether it breaks their terms of use. If it does then they will remove it. YouTube rules say you can't upload videos with hate content, nudity or graphic violence and if you find one on someone else's space, click on the video to flag it as inappropriate. If under comments, you are being bullied, harassed or threats are being made, they have a reporting tool page where you can report the bullying and they will investigate.

How to report bullying or abuse on messaging apps:

Instagram

Bullying or abuse on Instagram can happen in many ways. It can be either negative comments, fake profiles or hacking of accounts. Instagram take all of these violations very seriously and have plenty of advice on their pages if you or someone you know is being bullied or abused on Instagram. Their advice initially is to block and unfollow the person who is being abusive. However, if it continues or it has gotten worse, you can use their in-app reporting tool. This page has details on how to report the abuse directly to them.  

Snapchat

Snapchat is an app that allows users to send pictures to each other that disappear off screen within a set amount of time. Unfortunately, there is bullying on Snapchat in the form of screenshots, sending pics without permission, negative comments and more. If this is the case for you or someone you know they can block a user, tap the Menu icon, select “My Friends,” locate their name in the list and swipe right across their name. If you would like to delete a friend from your contacts, press “Delete.” Even if you haven’t added the user as a friend, their name will still appear in the “My Friends” list under “Recent” if they have sent you a message recently. If you receive an inappropriate photo or someone's harassing or bullying you, report it by filling out their online form.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp Messenger lets people sends instant messages, videos, photos, and short audio messages to either one person or within a group chat. Messages can only be sent to other smartphone users who also have WhatsApp. Once you install the app, it checks your address book to see if anyone else you know is already using WhatsApp, and connects you automatically. You have to be over 16 to use WhatsApp legally. Bullying can take many forms as it is a messaging service and we often hear of abusive group chats. You can block and delete the contact. You can find out more by emailing them at support@whatsapp.com.