ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

Bullying is the use or the repeated use of aggression, whether intentional or not, which hurts another person. Engaging in verbal, physical and/or electronic bullying is unacceptable behavior for any Poseidon team member.  In conjunction with USA Swimming's Safe Sport program, Poseidon Swimming will not tolerate bullying in any form so that Poseidon is, and continues to remain, a club where swimmers are treated with respect and can feel safe in the pool, in the locker rooms and at any team events or trips.  

What is Bullying?

Bullying may include:

  • Physical abuse -  such as kicking, hitting and/or mean or threatening gestures;
  • Verbal abuse - such as name calling or ridicule;
  • Emotional abuse - such as spreading rumors, exclusion from friendship circle and tormenting actions (hiding clothes, goggles or floats);
  • Extortion - gaining money or personal property from threatening behavior;
  • Sexual - such as unwanted physical contact or sexually suggestive comments;
  • Homophobic - such as actions that focus on someone's sexuality; and/or
  • Racist - such as racial taunts or gestures.

Cyber-bullying is bullying that occurs on-line or electronically using the internet, cell phones or other methods of electronic communication.  Examples of cyber-bulling include, but are not limited to:

  • Bullying activities conducted using text, e-mail or instant messages;
  • Posting mean, nasty or unflattering pictures or messages about others on any social media website including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or blogs; and/or
  • Using someone else's user name to electronically post unflattering information, rumors or lies about someone.

How to Report Bullying

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

  • Talk to your parents;
  • Talk to or e-mail your coach; and/or
  • Talk to or e-mail the President of the Poseidon Swimming Board of Directors.

Parents are expected to contact the Poseidon Head Coach or the President of the Poseidon Board of Directors if their swimmer reports an incident of bullying.

What Poseidon Will Do When Bullying Is Reported

After a bullying incident is reported to a coach or Poseidon board member by a parent or athlete, Poseidon will:

  1. Investigate the incident and separate the athletes involved if an incident is reported during a practice or training session;
  2. Inform the parents of all parties involved of the incident, and depending on  the severity of the incident, take one or more of the following steps, as appropriate:
    1. Ask the parent(s) to attend a meeting with the Poseidon Head Coach, the swimmer's coach and a member of the Poseidon Board of Directors to discuss the situation;
    2. Initiate reconciliation between the bully and the bullied child as discussion and a genuine apology may remedy the situation especially with first offenses;
    3. Require the parents of the bully to attend practice sessions as a spectator to monitor their child's actions for a specific period of time; and/or
    4. Require the bully and their parents to engage in anti-bullying training; and
  3. Document the event, investigation and conversation and provide a copy of this information to the Poseidon Board of Directors; and
  4. Impose appropriate disciplinary action on the bully

Disciplinary action imposed on the bully will be tailored to the severity of the bullying incident and the frequency of its occurrence.  Discipline may include, but is not limited to:

  • Verbal warning to the swimmer with the event and conversation documented in writing; 
  • Written warning to the swimmer and their parents;
  • 2 week suspension from practice and suspension from the next swim meet whether or not it occurs during the 2 week suspension; and/or
  • Dismissal from the team.

Repeated incidents of bullying by a swimmer will not be tolerated and may result in suspension or dismissal from the team.