Solihull Moors FC - Anti Bullying Policy
 
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STATEMENT OF INTENT:

We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all our members, so they can

participate in football in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our club. If bullying does occur, all club members or parents should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING club. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the club welfare officer or any committee member.

Bullying: Every person in sport, in every role, has the right to participate in an environment that is fun, safe and healthy, and to be treated with respect, dignity and fairness. Bullying denies participants these rights and can result in feelings of disgrace, embarrassment, shame or intimidation. Bullying can also affect an individual's athletic performance, level of enjoyment, work or school life, academic achievement and physical and mental health.
Bullying can occur both on and off the sports pitch and can involve athletes, parents, coaches, spectators or umpires. It is prohibited by most sporting organisations under their Code of Conduct and can result in penalties and punishments being applied. Some forms of bullying constitute assault, harassment or discrimination under federal and state legislation and are therefore illegal.

 

WHAT IS BULLYING?

Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim. Bullying is deliberately hurting a specific person either physically, verbally, psychologically or socially. It involves a power imbalance where one person has power or strength (e.g. physical, mental, social or financial) over another. It can be carried out by one person or several people who are either actively or passively involved. In a sports context bullying can take many forms, for example:

·         a parent telling their child that they are incompetent, hopeless, useless, etc.;

·         a coach alienating an athlete (adult or child);

·         several people ganging-up on an individual team member;

·         spectators verbally abusing players from the opposition;

·         an athlete calling a referee names and using put-downs;

·         a parent intimidating a young coach.

Bullying can be a 'one-off' incident, but usually involves repeated actions or incidences. It can occur everywhere: at home, school, work, playgrounds, while participating in sport, when using public transport or walking to or from home. An individual may bully their victim face to face or use technology such as a mobile phone or computer.

 

Types of Bullying:

Bullies may use one or several types of bullying to hurt their victim.

 

Bullying can be:

Physical - pushing, shoving, punching, hitting, kicking, taking away a person's belongings (this may also constitute assault), or any use of violence

Verbal - name calling, banter, threatening, teasing, intimidating, yelling abuse, using put-downs, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing.

Psychological/Emotional – Being unfriendly, excluding (emotionally and physically), ganging up, preventing a person from going somewhere, taking a person's possessions and tormenting, (e.g. hiding football boots/shin guards, threatening gestures) sending hostile, hurtful or nasty emails or text messages.

Socially - excluding, alienating, ignoring, spreading rumours.

Sexual - unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments

Racist - racial taunts, graffiti, gestures.

Homophobic - because of, or focussing on the issue of sexuality

Bullying behaviour is damaging to all involved: the bully, victim, family members, those that witness the behaviour and the sporting organisation involved. Athletes, parents, coaches, administrators and sporting organisations all have an ethical (and possibly a legal) responsibility to act to prevent bullying occurring in sport and manage it, should it occur.

The effects of bullying:

People that bully may:

·         pick a victim randomly, or carefully choose their victim;

·         find that they get what they want by bullying (power, acceptance, admiration);

·         have been bullied themselves;

·         be arrogant, aggressive or impulsive;

·         enjoy having power over others;

·         enjoy doing it and not care that they cause their victim distress;

·         believe that some people deserve to be bullied;

·         have been influenced by aggressive 'models' (at home, in real life or in television or the movies);

·         see their behaviour as justified or 'pay-back' for some treatment they have received.

 

Any person can be bullied. Sometimes people who are popular, smarter, attractive or possess obvious sporting ability are victims of bullying. People can also be subject to bullying if they:

·         have not had experience standing up for themselves against bullies;

·         lack assertiveness, resilience and the social skills required to protect themselves against bullies;

·         struggle academically or in terms of sporting ability;

·         appear stressed, anxious or easily hurt or upset;

·         look different or are different;

·         have a disability or illness;

·         lack confidence or are shy;

·         have been overprotected at home.

 

Signs and Indicators person is being bullied:

A person, especially a child, may not always ask for support when being bullied. They may feel afraid, ashamed or embarrassed and that the person they tell will think they are weak. Victims of bullying may think that they deserve to be bullied or are 'dobbing' by telling someone what is happening to them.

The following are signs that a person may be being bullied:

·        Finds excuses for not wanting to attend training or games (e.g. feeling sick, has an injury, has too much work to do) or talking about hating their sport;

·        wants to be driven to training or matches instead of walking;

·        regularly the last one picked for team or group activities;

·        alienated from social or shared activities;

·        has unexplained bruising or other injuries;

·        becomes uncharacteristically nervous, worried, shy or withdrawn;

·        becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence

·        is frightened to say what’s wrong

·        clothing or personal possessions are missing or are damaged;

·        repeatedly 'loses' money or possessions;

·        suddenly prone to lashing out at people either physically or verbally.

 

In more extreme cases:

• starts stammering

• cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares

• becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable

• is bullying other children or siblings

• stops eating

• attempts or threatens suicide or runs away.

These signs and behaviours may indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.



Managing bullying:


Bullying is more likely to occur in environments that are highly competitive and promote a 'win at all cost' mentality. By emphasising other aspects of sport such as enjoyment, team work, sportsmanship and skill development, especially at the junior level, sporting organisations may be able to prevent bullying behaviours.


Sporting organisations should promote their organisation as one that will not allow or tolerate bullying and develop Codes of Conduct and a policy that addresses bullying behaviours, such as a Member Protection Policy. A Member Protection Policy addresses a range of inappropriate behaviours including discrimination, harassment and abuse and provides a complaints process for dealing with incidents. The policy can also provide a complaint handling process, so sports can deal with incidents of bullying in a practical manner that is consistent with other inappropriate behaviour.


Why is it important to respond to bullying?


Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Individuals who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving. This club has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.


Objectives of this policy:


• All club members, coaches, officials and parents should understand what bullying is

• All club members, officials and coaching staff should know what the club policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported 

• All players and parents should know what the club policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises

• As a club we take bullying seriously. Players and parents should be assured that they would be supported when bullying is reported

• Bullying will not be tolerated.


 


Procedures:

1. Report bullying incidents to the Club Welfare Officer or a member of the clubs committee or contact the County FA Welfare Officer.

2. In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be referred to the County FA Welfare Officer for advice

and possibly to The FA Case Management Team.

3. Parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem.

4. If necessary and appropriate, the police will be consulted.

5. The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated, and the bullying stopped quickly

6. An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour.

7. If mediation fails and the bullying is seen to continue the club will initiate disciplinary action under the

club constitution.



In the case of adults reported to be bullying anyone:

1. The County FA Welfare Officer should always be informed and will advise on action to be taken where

appropriate.

2. It is anticipated that in most cases where the allegation is made regarding a team manager, official

or coach, The FA’s Safeguarding Children Education Programme may be recommended.

3. More serious cases may be referred to the Police and/or Children’s Services.


Prevention:

1. The club will have a written constitution, which includes what is acceptable and proper behaviour for

all members of which the anti-bullying policy is one part.

2. All club members and parents will sign to accept the constitution upon joining the club.

3. The Club Welfare Officer will raise awareness about bullying and why it matters, and if issues of bullying

arise in the club, will consider meeting with members to discuss the issue openly and constructively.


 

Recommended club action:


If the club decides it is appropriate for them to deal with the situation they should follow the procedure

outlined below:

1. Reconciliation by getting the parties together. It may be that a genuine apology solves the problem.

2. If this fails/not appropriate a small panel (made up from Chairman, Club Welfare Officer, Secretary, committee members) should meet with the parent and child alleging bullying to get details of the allegation. Minutes should be taken for clarity, which should be agreed by all as a true account.

3. The same three persons should meet with the alleged bully and parent/s and put the incident raised to them to answer and give their view of the allegation. Minutes should again be taken and agreed.

4. If bullying has in their view taken place the individual should be warned and put on notice of further action i.e. temporary or permanent suspension if the bullying continues. Consideration should be given as to whether a reconciliation meeting between parties is appropriate at this time.

5. In some cases the parent of the bully or bullied player can be asked to attend training sessions,

if they can do so, and if appropriate. The club committee should monitor the situation for a given period to ensure the bullying is not being repeated.

6. All coaches involved with both individuals should be made aware of the concerns and outcome of

the process i.e. the warning.


 

The law:


Bullying that involves physical assault is against the law. Bullying that involves, harassment or discrimination can be against the law under certain circumstances (e.g., racial and sexual harassment). Because bullying can contribute to psychological injury it may be covered under occupational health and safety legislation.



 
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