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Anti-Bullying Policy

WALLA WALLA SWIM CLUB

ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

Updated:  9.7.2020

PURPOSE

To provide a safe, positive environment for athletes, and all members of Walla Walla Swim Club.  To discourage, and immediately address any reports of bullying.

STATEMENT

Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at Walla Walla Swim Club (WWSC) and will not be tolerated.  

Bullying is counterproductive to team spirit and can be devastating to a victim.

 

Walla Walla Swim Club is committed to providing a safe, positive, nurturing environment for all of our members.

 

WHAT IS BULLYING?

The USA Swimming Code of Conduct prohibits bullying. Generally, bullying is the use of aggression, whether intentional or not, which hurts another person. Bullying results in pain and distress. The USA Swimming Code of Conduct defines bullying in 304.3.7.

Bullying is the severe or repeated use by one or more USA Swimming members of oral, written, electronic or other technological expression, image, sound, data or intelligence of any nature (regardless of the method of transmissions), or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at any other member that to a reasonably objective person has the effect of: 1) causing physical or emotional harm to the other member or damage to the other member’s property, 2) placing the other member in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property, 3)  creating a hostile environment for the other member at any USA Swimming activity, 4) infringing on the rights of the other member at any USA Swimming activity, or 5) materially and substantially disrupting the training process or the orderly operation of any USA Swimming activity (which for the purposes of this section shall include, without limitation, practices, workouts and other events of a member club or LSC).

 

REPORTING PROCEDURE

Should an athlete experience or witness bullying , please take the following steps to report the issue.  Walla Walla Swim Club coaches and board members will work to address the situation immediately. 

An Athlete who feels he or she has been bullied or has witnessed bullying is encouraged to take the following steps:

  1.  Talk to your parents
  2.  Talk to your Team Captain, if you need support approaching coaches/board members
  3.  Talk to the WWSC Coach(s), Board Member(s), and/or WWSC SafeSport Rep
  4.  Write a letter email to the WWSC Coaches, Board Members, or WWSC SafeSport Rep.
  5.  Make a report to the USA Swimming Safe Sport staff.

While there is no time limit on making reports, WWSC encourages those making reports, to do so as soon as they are able/comfortable.   Handling reports while details are still fresh and better recalled, will help coaches/board members address situations immediately and before bullying continues.

 

WWSC ACTION PLAN TO ADDRESS REPORTS OF BULLYING

If bullying is occurring during teamÔÇÉrelated activities between athletes of WWSC:

  1. Intervene immediately. It is ok to get another adult to help.  Stop the bullying!
  2. Separate the kids involved.
  3. Make sure everyone is safe.
  4. Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
  5. Stay calm. Reassure the kids involved, including bystanders. 
  6.  Model respectful behavior when you intervene.

 

If bullying is occurring from Coach to Athlete:

If an athlete feels they are being bullied by a coach, WWSC encourages athletes to tell their parents, a board member, or WWSC SafeSport Representative as soon as they are able/comfortable doing so.

  1. If a parent observes bullying by a coach, they should intervene immediately
  2. The Head Coach, and/or Board President should be notified immediately
  3. WWSC SafeSport Rep should be notified
  4. WWSC board will work with Head Coach and Safe Sport rep to correct the issue.

 

If an athlete feels they are being bullied by an athlete from another team:

  1. Make a report to your head coach/coaching staff as soon as possible/comfortable doing so.
  2. Report to your parents  
  3. If you know the name of the athlete, please give name, and team, if you know it.
  4. Make a report to the Meet Referee or meet director if bullying occurs at a meet
  5. Contact WWSC SafeSport representative and/or board members.

 

If an athlete feels they are being bullied by an official

  1. Contact your head coach/coaching staff as soon as possible/comfortable doing so.
  2. Let your parents know
  3. Give as much information as possible
  4. Contact your WWSC SafeSport Representative and/or WWSC Board members

 

Some athletes may feel most comfortable reporting to their Team Captain. 

Our Team Captains will guide our athletes in the best way to address their situation and get the help needed.

 

INVESTIGATING REPORTS OF BULLYING. 

Walla Walla Swim Club takes reports of bullying seriously.  We will investigate reports by gathering facts, speaking to witnesses, asking  clarifying questions, and listening to our athletes.  We will separate those involved in the alleged bullying and listen to both sides.

  1. Gathering Evidence 

       A.  Separate those involved 

  1.  Interview both parties, parents, and any witnesses
  2.  Listen without blaming. 
  3. Ask clarifying questions
  4. Determine if alleged bullying occurred in practice, at a meet, whether it was cyber-bullying…etc.
  5.  Don’t call the act “bullying” while you are trying to understand what happened
  6. Collect all available information

 

  1. Determine if bullying occurred and if so, how did bullying occur.  Was it physical, emotional, cyber-bullying 
  •   Review the USA Swimming definition of bullying; 
  •  To determine if the behavior is bullying or something else, consider the following questions:
  1. What is the history between the individuals involved?
  2. Have there been past conflicts?  If so, when?
  3. Is there a power imbalance? (perceived bully is:  older, more popular, larger…etc.)
  4. If this has happened before, does the athlete feel its likely to happen again?
  5. Have they reported any past conflicts?  If so to whom?

 

  1. Support the kids who are being bullied. 

 

  1.  Listen and focus on the child. Learn what’s been going on and show you want to help. Assure the child that bullying is not their fault
  2. Work together to resolve the situation and protect the bullied child. The child, parents, and fellow team members and coaches may all have valuable input. 
  3.  Ask the child being bullied what can be done to make him or her feel safe. Remember that changes to routine should be minimized. He or she is not at fault and should not be singled out.
  4. Consider rearranging lane assignments for everyone. If bigger moves are necessary, such as switching practice groups, the child who is bullied should not be forced to change,
  5.  Develop a game plan. Maintain open communication between WWSC board, coaches and parents.
  6.  Discuss the steps that will be taken and how bullying will be addressed going forward
  7.  Coaching staff will work with WWSC SafeSport rep to continue to monitor, and provide consistent support.

 

 

  1. Address bullying behavior 

 

The Head Coach, and coaching staff will work together with WWSC SafeSport Rep to:

  1.  Make sure the child knows what the problem behavior is. Young people who bully must learn their behavior is wrong and harms others.  Let the athlete know how their actions affected others.
  2.  Remind athlete of WWSC’s anti-bullying policy and work with them to understand the outcomes of bullying behavior. 
  3. Work with the child to understand some of the reasons he or she bullied. Were there additional issues we were unaware of? 
  4.  Involve the kid who bullied in making amends or repairing the situation.

 

Some solutions for making amends may include:

 

  1. Meet with Head Coach, the athlete who was bullied, and both sets of parents and apologize, if parties are agreeable and can remain calm, and model good behavior.
  2.  Write a letter apologizing to the athlete who was bullied.
  3.  Clean up, repair, or pay for any property they damaged.  
  4. WWSC Head Coach and WWSC SafeSport Representative will continue to monitor the situation and continue to promote and praise good behavior

 

Coaches, board members, and WWSC SafeSport Representative will work with athletes involved to address bullying. 

Every effort will be made to work with the parties involved to promote positive behavior and team cooperation. 

 

CONTINUING BULLYING BEHAVIOR

Should an athlete continue their bullying behavior, the Head Coach and SafeSport rep. along with team board President, may ask:

 

  1. The Athlete be suspended from the team for a period of 2 weeks after which there will be a conversation with the Head Coach and SafeSport representative to outline expectations of behavior once athlete returns to practice.
  2. The Athlete be asked to leave the team. 

 

  1. Support Witnesses to bullying

 

WWSC Coaches, board members and our SafeSport representative encourage those to witness bullying to come forward and let us know.  Often witnesses are afraid to come forward for fear of becoming the bully’s next victim.  WWSC will handle reports while doing our best to maintain confidentiality.

 

ATHLETES HELPING ATHLETES:

  1.   Be a friend to the person being bullied
  2.   Tell a trusted adult – your parent, team captain, coach, or club board member;
  3.   Help the kid being bullied get away from the situation. Create a distraction, focus the attention on something else, or offer a way for the target to get out of the situation. “Let’s go, practice is about to start.”
  4.   Set a good example by not bullying others.
  5.   Don’t give the bully an audience. Bullies are encouraged by the attention they get from bystanders. If you do nothing else, just walk away.

 

 

“IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING!”