ULSTER GAA, in conjunction with The Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF) and the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU), and are calling on all units of the Association to take part in Anti-Bullying Week between 14th and 18th November 2022. This year’s theme for the campaign is ‘Reach Out’.
This year’s manifesto includes: Bullying affects millions of lives and can leave us feeling hopeless. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we challenge it, we can change it. And it starts by reaching out. We all have a responsibility to help each other reach out. Together, let’s be the change we want to see. Reflect on our own behaviour, set positive examples and create kinder communities. It takes courage, but it can change lives.
It is vital that the GAA Zero Tolerance Approach towards bullying is implemented within every club. Managers, coaches and mentors can be instrumental in ensuring such behaviour does not occur by nipping it in the bud as soon as they see or hear it happening on the field of play by addressing in an informal way to let those involved know it will not be tolerated and that if it continues it will be addressed.
Unchallenged behaviour becomes acceptable and normal, and therefore it is important that it is not allowed to continue unchecked or not dealt with.
Cyber bullying – This is bullying behaviour that takes place via mobile phone or through the internet via email/instant messaging/social networking sites/texts/messages or images that are sent or posted on sites, which hurt, intimidate or embarrass another person.
Cyber bullying is no different from any other forms of bullying in that the behaviour is the same and the impact no less devastating, and therefore incidents of cyber bullying should be treated as though they happened in real time.
If you are aware of someone being cyber bullied, please consider the following:
1) Listen and learn about what has been going on, for how long, where it has been taking place and what exactly has been happening. If you are not their parent/guardian ensure you make them aware of the situation.
2) Suggest that they do not open messages from the addresses/numbers but allow you/parent/guardian to open them instead.
3) Consider changing their mobile number and restrict access to the number.
4) Changing online profile log in and passwords, and using the ‘reporting’ feature that is available on most social media sites asking for offending messages and photos to be removed. Ensure that online profiles are made private and only shared with friends. Restrict what can be posted to your profile until after you have given permission.
5) Involve other agencies if necessary, including PSNI/Childline or NSPCC.
6) Support the young person, your initial reaction is vital – Listen, Learn, Involve and Resolve.
GAA Code of Behaviour, Maintaining Appropriate Levels of Behaviour within the GAA includes the Anti- Bullying Policy, which aims to adopt a whole organisational approach to addressing bullying and provides advice and support to clubs in the area of Safeguarding.
We remind all clubs to implement the Code of Behaviour with all relevant personnel in your club and that bullying behaviour is a breach of the GAA Code of Behaviour and should be dealt with accordingly.
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