ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our children so they can train, and play, in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our club.

If bullying does occur, all children should be able to tell, and know incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING club. This means anyone who knows bullying is happening is expected to tell someone who can do something about it.

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 take many forms some of which we’ve listed below:

• Emotional: being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (for example: hiding kit, or making threatening gestures)

• Physical: pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence

• Racist: racial taunts, graffiti and/or 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 and teasing

• Cyber: Bullying behaviour online or via electronic communication (email and text, social media etc) Misuse of associated technology, such as camera and video facilities

Why is it important to respond to bullying?

Bullying hurts. No one should be a victim of bullying. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect. Children and/or adults who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving.

Cricket clubs have a responsibility to respond promptly, and effectively, to issues of bullying.

Objectives of this policy

• All officials, coaching and non-coaching staff, children and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is

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

• All children 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. Children and parents should be assured 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. Adults should be aware of signs and investigate if a child:

• Says they are being bullied

• Changes their usual routine

• Is unwilling to go to the club

• Becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence

• Comes home with clothes torn or belongings damaged

• Has possessions which are damaged or go missing

• Asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay the bully)

• Unexplained cuts or bruises

• Is frightened to say what’s wrong

• Gives improbable excuses for any of the above

In more extreme cases, the child:

• 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 could indicate other problems, but bullying could be a possibility and should be investigated.

Procedures

• Report bullying incidents in the first instance to the team manager, coach, colts manager or another adult you can trust. The incident should also be reported to the Club Welfare Officer, Lara Van Gelder

• In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be reported to the ECB Safeguarding Team for advice via the County Welfare Officer

• Parents should be informed and will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss the problem

• It is important that confidentiality is maintained at all times and all communications between children, parents, coaches and other adults at the club must adhere to this principle.

• 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

In cases of adults reported to be bullying cricketers under 18, the ECB must always be informed and will advise on action to be taken.

Recommended Club Action

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/not appropriate a small panel (made up from Junior Chairman, Club Welfare Officer, Director of Youth Cricket, 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.

The same 3 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.

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.

In some cases the parent of the bully or bullied player can be asked to attend training sessions, if they are able to do so, and if appropriate.

The club committee should monitor the situation for a given period to ensure the bullying is not being repeated.

All coaches involved with both individuals should be made aware of the concerns and outcome of the process i.e. the warning.

Prevention

The club will have a written code of conduct, which includes what is acceptable and proper behaviour for all members of which the anti-bullying policy is one part.

All club members and parents will sign to accept the code of conduct upon joining the club.

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.