Northern Lights Swim Club
Action Plan to Address Bullying
  1. To define bullying and give all board members, coaches, parents and swimmers a good understanding of what bullying is.
  2. To make it known to all parents, swimmers and coaching staff the intent of this Action Plan should any bullying issues arise.
  3. To make it clear that Northern Lights Swim Club (NLSC) has a commitment to a safe environment and will not tolerate bullying in any form.
  4. To make procedures for how to report bullying clear and understandable.
  5. To spread the word that Northern Lights Swim Club takes bullying seriously and that all swimmers and parents can be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
DEFINITION (Objective #1)
The USA Swimming Code of Conduct prohibits bullying. Generally, bullying is the use of aggression, usually intentional and/or repeated, which hurts, threatens, frightens, or harasses another person.  Bullying results in pain and distress and frequently involves an imbalance of power between the involved parties.  NLSC may need to apply the same definition to instances of cyber-bullying in the same manner as real-time bullying.
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:
  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).
INTENT (Objective #2)
NLSC accepts this USA Swimming definition of bullying and provides guidelines for swimmers and their parents to seek resolution to instances of bullying and to help coaches clarify the definition of bullying and how it differs from natural conflict.  Protocol for handling reports of bullying, including support for victims and bullies, as well as consequences in line with NLSC’s Code of Conduct, is available in a separate document.
COMMITMENT  (Objective #3)
Northern Lights Swim Club is committed to providing a safe, caring and friendly environment for all of our members.  Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at Northern Lights Swim Club (NLSC) and will not be tolerated at any NLSC activity, including but not limited to, practices, meets, travel, team events, and/or electronically involving NLSC business (e.g. - text exchanges referencing a swim event but sent while at home). Bullying is counterproductive to team spirit and can be devastating to a victim.  Incidents of bullying will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell a parent, coach, or board member who in turn, is expected to follow NLSC protocol for addressing bullying.
REPORTING (Objective #4)
NLSC expects that an athlete who feels that he or she has been bullied is asked to do one or more of the following things:
  • Talk to his/her parents, reporting details and frequency of bullying incident(s).
  • Talk to a NLSC Coach, Head Coach, or other trusted involved adult such as a member of the Booster Club.
  • Write a letter or email to the NLSC Coach, Head Coach, or other trusted involved adult such as a member of the Booster Club.
  • 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 NLSC leadership as soon as possible to make sure that memories are fresh and behavior can be accurately recalled so the bullying behavior can be stopped as soon as possible.
SUPPORT (Objective #5)
NLSC will take all reports of bullying seriously, and coaches under the guidance of the Head Coach, will follow specific procedures for resolution.  NLSC coaches will understand the definition of bullying and how it differs from natural conflict, and will assist swimmers in all aspects of resolution.  Both victim and bully will be supported in an effort to ensure that the bullying does not continue.  Athlete bystanders who witness bullying will be encouraged to follow simple, safe strategies for helping stop bullying when they see it and to report it with, or on behalf of, their fellow swimmers when possible.
More information about USA Swimming Safe Sport guidelines can be found at:
More information about bullying can be found at the US Department of Health and Human Services site: