Safeguarding – Anti-bullying
Bullying of any kind is not permitted within the Club providing playing opportunities for children and young people.
The RFU is a ‘telling’ culture and anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the Club Safeguarding Officer.
Bullying will be taken seriously, responded to promptly, and procedures followed to deal with the situation.
It is the responsibility of every adult working in rugby union whether professional or volunteer, to ensure that all young people can enjoy the sport in a safe enjoyable environment.
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.
- Emotional – excluding (emotionally and physically), tormenting (e.g. hiding rugby kit, threatening gestures including sending threatening text messages).
- Physical – pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence.
- Racist – racial taunts, graffiti, gestures.
- Sexual – unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments.
- Homophobic – because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality.
- Verbal – name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing.
Objectives of the policy
All Club members, coaches, volunteers and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.
All Club members, coaches and volunteers should know what the RFU/CB/Club policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported.
All players and parents should know what the RFU/CB/Club policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.
Players and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
BULLYING WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
Signs and Symptoms
A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied.
Children and Young People have described bullying as:
- being called names.
- being teased.
- being hit, pushed, pulled, pinched, or kicked.
- having their bag, mobile or other possessions taken.
- receiving abusive text messages.
- being forced to hand over money.
- being forced to do things they do not want to do.
- being ignored or left out.
- being attacked because of religion, gender, sexuality, disability, appearance or ethnic or racial origin.
Other signs and symptoms
A child who
- doesn’t want to attend training or club activities.
- changes their usual routine.
- begins being disruptive during sessions.
- becomes withdrawn anxious or lacking in confidence.
- has possessions going missing.
- becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable.
- starts stammering.
- has unexplained cuts or bruises.
- is bullying others
- stops eating.
- is frightened to say what’s wrong.
These signs and behaviours may not constitute bullying and may be symptoms of other problems. Club/CB members, coaches and volunteers need to be aware of these possible signs and report any concerns to the Club Safeguarding Officer.
Procedures and Management of Bullying
1. Report bullying incidents to the Club Safeguarding Officer
- Record (using the RFU Incident Record Form). If the incident is an adult bullying a young person, the Club Safeguarding Officer will report the incident to the RFU Child Protection Officer.
- If the incident is a young person bullying a young person, the club will manage this, and can access advice and support from the Club Safeguarding Officer or RFU Child Protection Officer at any stage of the process.
2. Parents may be informed and asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem.
3. If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted.
4. If mediation fails and the bullying is seen to continue the Club/CB/RFU can initiate disciplinary action under the relevant constitution.
Implementing anti-bullying procedures
Raise awareness with all members and players within the club:
- Ensure all young players know they can talk to someone if they are worried
- Ensure that parents have a copy of the policy
- Adopt the policy within the club constitution
- Ensure that the Code of Conduct clearly states that behaviour which constitutes bullying will not be accepted
- Ensure all coaches, staff and volunteers understand the policy
- Ensure the policy is given to members and players.
- Identify any training needs within the club and contact the RFU to find out about workshops and opportunities for support.