Combating the Issue of Bullying with the Team
Role of Coach:
1. Ask players what should be done.
2. Establish rules of behavior and Expectations in a positive manner.
3. Discuss consequences for breaking rules.
4. Review rules and consequences on a routine basis ‑ Hold team meetings to modify or change rules and consequences.
5. Create ‑ Conduct team building activities to influence attitude in a positive/assertive skill set of activities ‑ communication ‑ camaraderie.
6. Discuss plans/issues/consequences with parents on a regular basis.
7. Staff must closely monitor player interactions and respond quickly.
8. Victim of bullying must be approached by staff immediately and listen to concerns of player ‑ arrange meeting with both players ‑ together or separately depending on circumstances.
General Intervention Strategy
Everyone in the Institution/School has a responsibility for supporting a safe environment. Therefore, everyone, especially coaches and players should be expected to use respectful behaviors, recognize bullying and respond to bullying by refusing or reporting the behavior to the most appropriate person. The Team/Coach may designate a person(s) to serve in the role of interventionist for bullying and harassment situations. The interventionist takes on the primary responsibility for the specialized training for specific individuals involved in bullying. The entire staff remains responsible for the awareness training, basic interventions, implementation of prevention curriculum, and education for development of positive behaviors (social skills) for all players.
Activating and empowering the bystanders/witnesses through education about bullying and practice (role plays) in intervening is the most impartial intervention. Group training for bystanders includes emphasizing that there is strength in numbers and that permission is given with the expectation to intervene respectfully and safely or report the bullying behaviors. Determining specific bystander interventions depends on analyzing the level of risk of particular bullying situations within the team.
Strategies for Bystanders
Talk about it with the team Emphasize strength in numbers Explain the expectation to take action Teach and practice skills and strategies to take a stand Empower witnesses to take leadership roles in making the environment safe for everyone Acknowledge and reinforce respectful behaviors Clarify the difference between tattling and telling (reporting).
Player Strategies for Bystanders
• Make a safe choice; consider the level of risk in choosing an action for intervening.
-Teach options for intervening:
-Choose to not participate
-Report to an adult
-Encourage the team to take a stand
-Take an individual stand
-Be friendly toward the target
Targets need to be supported by a third party and have their reports taken seriously. Target interventions typically include teaching social skills such as friendship, assertiveness and anger management skills. Interventions for targets may be done one‑on‑one or in a support group. Targets should not be re‑victimized by bringing the target and perpetrator together to try to resolve the situation.
Team Strategies for Targets
*Provide a safe place to report; take all reports seriously
*Assign new or needy players to a buddy
*Assign a caring staff member to "connect" regularly with the players who are potential targets
*Get a caring majority on the team use team meetings/discussion to teach expected behaviors and model value of each player
*Consider how players are grouped to that the targets are not left out and are not paired with someone who bullies them.
*Teach friendship and assertiveness skills through team drills.
Strategies for Targets
• Provide options for preventing bullying incidents
- Avoid the bully
- Stay in safe areas
- Share your feelings with someone you trust
• Provide options for responding to bullying incidents
- Walk away
- Make an assertive statement, then walk away
- Use humor
- Tell an adult
Bullying‑ Behavior Interventions
Team/Club discipline policies, while needed to address player conduct issues and support positive player behaviors, are not sufficient to address bullying behaviors. Bullying behavior interventions may include teaching social skills such as friendship, empathy and anger management in one‑on‑one settings, not in a group setting. Discipline should be addressed privately. Interventions initially focus on identifying the expected behaviors.
Team Strategies for Bullying‑ Behaviors
• Equalize the power ‑ work one on one
• Challenge distorted thinking
• Use consistent, predictable discipline
• Focus on behaviors and expectations
• Use a problem‑solving approach
• Forward documentation to a central location (Club Director) to be reviewed regularly
Player Strategies for Bullying Behaviors
• State rule violated, feelings of target, and plan of action
• Emphasize social skills ‑ Friendship skills ‑ Empathy skills ‑ Emotional self‑awareness ‑ Social awareness
• Develop personal management skills ‑ Anger and emotion management ‑ Assuming personal responsibility
• Provide pro‑social consequences
Harassment, Sexual Harassment, and Inappropriate Gender Biased Behavior
“Harassment, intimidation or bullying" means any gesture or written, verbal or physical act that takes place at school, on school property, at any school sponsored function or on a school bus and that:
1. Is motivated by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and Expression or a mental, physical or sensory disability; or,
2. By any other distinguishing characteristic; and
3. A reasonable person should know, under the circumstances that the act will have the effect of harming a student or damaging the student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to his/her person or damage to his/her property;
4. Has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students in such a way as to cause substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.
Not all acts of bullying, however, are motivated by characteristics such as the targets race, color, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Some acts of bullying are simply one child exercising power and control over another in isolated incidents (e.g., intimidation, harassment) or patterns of harassing or intimidating behavior (e.g., bullying). Students are expected to conduct themselves in keeping with their levels of development and maturity. Students are to show proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students and school staff, the educational purpose underlying all school activities, and the care of school Facilities and equipment.
Examples of inappropriate gender based remarks:
1 Repeated stereotypical gender‑based remarks
2. Sexually oriented joking, flirting or comments
3. Unwelcome touching or any touching of a sexual nature
4. Verbal or physical abuse
5. Graphic sexually oriented comments about an individuals body
6. Derogatory or demeaning comments concerning gender
7. Offensive or crude language,
8. Display of objects or pictures which depict nudity or are otherwise sexual in nature.