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USA Swimming Safe Sport for Parents Athletes Protection Plan

ODAC Locker Room Monitoring Policy

 

Action Plan of Old Dominion Aquatic Club to Address Bullying

PURPOSE

Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at Old Dominion Aquatic Club and will not be tolerated. Bullying is counterproductive to team spirit and can be devastating to a victim.  The Club is committed to providing a safe, caring and friendly environment for all of our members.  If bullying does occur, all athletes and parents should know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell a coach, board member or athlete/mentor.

 

Objectives of the Club’s Bullying Policy and Action Plan:

1.     To make it clear that the Club will not tolerate bullying in any form.
2.     To define bullying and give all board members, coaches, parents and
        swimmers a good understanding of what bullying is.
3.     To make it known to all parents, swimmers and coaching staff that
        there is a policy and protocol should any bullying issues arise.
4.     To make how to report bullying clear and understandable.

To spread the word that Old Dominion Aquatic Club takes bullying seriously and that all swimmers and parents can be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.

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 transmission), 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:

i.     causing physical or emotional harm to the other member or damage
       to the other member’s property;
ii.    placing the other member in reasonable fear of harm to
       himself/herself or of damage to his/her property;
iii.    creating a hostile environment for the other member at any USA
       Swimming activity;
iv.    infringing on the rights of the other member at any USA Swimming
       activity; or
v.     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

An athlete who feels that he or she has been bullied is asked to do one or more of the following things:

·      Talk to your parents;
·      Talk to a Club Coach, Board Member, or other designated individual;
·      Write a letter or email to the Club Coach, Board Member, or other
       designated individual;
·      Make a report to the USA Swimming Safe Sport staff.

There is no express time limit for initiating a complaint under this procedure, but every effort should be made to bring the complaint to the attention of the appropriate club leadership as soon as possible to make sure that memories are fresh and behavior can be accurately recalled and the bullying behavior can be stopped as soon as possible.


HOW WE HANDLE BULLYING

If bullying is occurring during team-related activities, we STOP BULLYING ON THE SPOT using the following steps:

1.     Intervene immediately. It is ok to get another adult to help.
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 at our club or it is reported to be occurring at our club, we address the bullying by FINDING OUT WHAT HAPPENED and SUPPORTING THE KIDS INVOLVED using the following approach:

FINDING OUT WHAT HAPPENED

1.     First, we get the facts. 
                a.    Keep all the involved children separate.
                b.    Get the story from several sources, both adults and kids.
                c.     Listen without blaming.
                d.    Don’t call the act “bullying” while you are trying to understand
                       what happened. 

                e.    It may be difficult to get the whole story, especially if multiple
                       athletes are involved or the bullying involves
                       social bullying or cyber bullying. Collect all available
                       information.

2.     Then, we determine if it's bullying.There are many behaviors that look
like
bullying but require different approaches. It is important to determine whether the situation is bullying or something else. 

a.    Review the USA Swimming definition of bullying:
b.    To determine if the behavior is bullying or something else, consider
       the following questions:

  •   What is the history between the kids involved?
  •   Have there been past conflicts?
  •   Is there a power imbalance? Remember that a power
      imbalance is not limited to physical strength. It is sometimes
      not easily recognized. If the targeted child feels like there is a
      power imbalance, there probably is.
  •   Has this happened before? Is the child worried it will happen
      again.

c.     Remember that it may not matter “who started it.” Some kids who
       are bullied may be seen as annoying or provoking, but this does
       not excuse the bullying behavior.
d.    Once you have determined if the situation is bullying, support all of
       the kids involved.

 

SUPPORTING THE KIDS INVOLVED

 

3.     Support the kids who are being bullied

a.    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.
b.    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. It may help to:
                     i.     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.
                            For example, 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.
                     ii.    Develop a game plan. Maintain open communication
                            between the Club and parents. Discuss the steps
                            that will be taken and how bullying will be addressed
                            going forward.

c.     Be persistent.Bullying may not end overnight. Commit to making it
       stop and consistently support the bullied child.

 

4.     Address bullying behavior

a.    Make sure the child knows what the problem behavior is. Young
      people who bully must learn their behavior is wrong and harms
      others.
b.    Show kids that bullying is taken seriously.Calmly tell the child that
       bullying will not be tolerated. Model respectful behavior when
       addressing the problem.

c.     Work with the child to understand some of the reasons he or she
        bullied.  For example.
                      i.     Sometimes children bully to fit in or just to make fun
                            of someone is a little different from them.  In other
                            words, there may be some insecurity involved.
                      ii.   Other times kids act out because something else—
                            issues at home, abuse, stress—is going on in
                            their lives. They also may have been bullied. These
                             kids may be in need of additional support.
d.    Involve the kid who bullied in making amends or repairing the                situation.The goal is to help them see how their actions affect                others. For example, the child can:
                      i.     Write a letter apologizing to the athlete who was
                             bullied.
                      ii.    Do a good deed for the person who was bullied, for
                             the Club, or for others in your community.
                      iii.   Clean up, repair, or pay for any property
                            they damaged.
e.    Avoid strategies that don’t work or have negative consequences:
                      i.  Zero tolerance or “three strikes, you’re out” strategies
                          don’t work. Suspending or removing from the team
                          swimmers who bully does not reduce bullying
                          behavior. Swimmers may be less likely to report and
                          address bullying if suspension or getting kicked off the
                          team is the consequence
                      ii.  Conflict resolution and peer mediation don’t work for
                           bullying. Bullying is not a conflict between people of
                           equal power who share equal blame. Facing those who
                           have bullied may further upset kids who have been
                           bullied.
f. Follow-up. After the bullying issue is resolved, continue finding ways to
   help the child who bullied to understand how what they do affects other
   people. For example, praise acts of kindness or talk about what
   it means to be a good teammate.

5.  Support bystanders who witness bullying.  Every day, kids witness
     bullying. They want to help, but don’t know how. Fortunately, there are a
     few simple, safe ways that athletes can help stop bullying when they see it
     happening.

a.    Be a friend to the person being bullied;
b.    Tell a trusted adult – your parent, coach, or club board member;
c.    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.”
d.    Set a good example by not bullying others.
e.    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. 

USA Swimming Safe Sport Parent Training Flyer

Athlete Protection Training Course Documents from USA Swimming

Know your PAC's - Privacy, Access, Control
Responding to Reports of Red Flags
Responding to Violations
How to Respond When an Athlete Discloses Abuse
Preventing False Allegations
Stress Management Techniques
P
arent Course: Questions for Swim Parents
Parents Course: Abuse Disclosure of Parents
2012 USA Swimming Code of Conduct
USA Swimming Athlete Protection Best Practices

Educational Resources from USA Swimming

USOC Safe Sport Home - Where your Game Plan Starts
Praesidium Presentation - Zone Workshops Spring 2012
Praesidium Presentation - Convention 2011
FAQs On Sexual Safety in Sport - Stop it Now!
B
e That Adult - Stop It Now!
Abuse prevention Downloadable Tip Sheets - Stop it Now!
Abuse Warming Signs Downloadable Tip Sheets - Stop it Now!
Safety Tips for Parents - National Children's Advocacy Center
Safety Tips for Kids - National Children's Advocacy Center
Safety Tips for People Who Work with Children - National Children's Advocacy Center
B
ullying Prevention and Intervention - Dept of Health and Human Services
Internet Safety and Best Practices for Posting Pictures Online - Center For Missing and Exploited Children
On Child Abuse - Child Welfare League of America
Mandatory Reporters by State - RAINN Database
Safe4Athletes
radKIDS:Bullying Prevention Through Personal Empowerment