Our Commitment to Anti-Bullying
Our Lady of Grace soccer is committed to providing players a fun, positive and secure environment to learn and enjoy the game of soccer. The coaches, trainers, and administrators strive to create an environment free of bullying and conflict between teammates and/or players of the opposing teams. Players are always expected to treat each other with respect, and this includes players and spectators of our competitors. Our Lady of Grace Soccer opposes bullying of any kind, and will not tolerate it at any OLG sanctioned event. We will promote a TELLING atmosphere. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is taking place is expected to report the incident to a coach or administrator. Players and parents should be assured that they will be supported when suspected bullying is reported. Although we understand that not all horseplay or banter between players is bullying, all reported or observed instances will be thoroughly investigated. At no time should an OLG player speak or act in a way to cause physical or emotional harm to another player, and should always strive to create an atmosphere of inclusion, teamwork, and fair play.
Definition of Bullying
Bullying is defined as conduct, gestures or comments which are insulting, intimidating, humiliating, hurtful, malicious, degrading or otherwise offensive to a player, group of players and/or teammates, and creates a hostile or intimidating environment, or which negatively affects a player’s physical and/or emotional well-being. Bullying is any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, whether it is a single incident or a series of incidents that results in intentional or unintentional pain and distress to the victim.
Signs and Symptoms
A child may indicate he or she is being bullied through various signs and symptoms. While some children are prone to report bullying to their parents, coaches or adults, others will not, due to fear, intimidation or other factors. Coaches and parents should be aware of possible signs indicating that bullying may be taking place. These signs and behaviors could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated. For a list of potential signs of bullying please consult http://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/warning-signs
Procedures for Parents, Coaches and Directors
Parents should report bullying incidents to the team coach, assistant coach or team manager first. In the event the situation is not being addressed to their satisfaction, the assistant director should be contacted. If necessary and appropriate, police may be consulted. In all cases of reported bullying, parents of the player who was bullied shall be informed immediately and may be asked to meet with the respective team coach or directors to discuss the incident. In all cases, strict confidentiality shall be maintained. It is not our goal to make a public example of reported incidents, or make a player or parent feel ashamed or embarrassed.
The bullying behavior or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped immediately. The parents of any player who is reported to be bullying will be contacted immediately by the respective team coach or director, and asked to meet to discuss the incident to help the bully or bullies change their behavior. Depending on the severity of the situation, the parents may be asked to meet with representatives of the Our Lady of Grace soccer board.
Consequences of Bullying
In a first offense situation involving bullying, an attempt will be made to encourage the bully (bullies) to modify their behavior for their benefit, for the benefit of the person bullied and other team members. An attempt will be made by the coach, manager, or parent(s) to reconcile the situation between the players (age and level of maturity and or severity of offense must be considered). Other consequences or disciplinary alternatives to stop the bullying may also be considered by the OLG directors once reported by the parent, coach or manager. If the bullying persists, disciplinary action against a player may be taken by the team coach and/or OLG directors which may include, but is not limited to, immediate suspension from
participation in practices or game(s) for a period of time. The Director reserves the right to suspend or otherwise discipline any player for bullying in addition to any action taken by the coach. In severe cases, the Director reserves the right to prohibit further participation in the soccer program by any player deemed to be involved in the ongoing bullying of other players. After the incident/incidents have been investigated and addressed, the situation will continue to be monitored by the respective team coach, team manager and players’ parents to ensure repeated bullying does not occur.
OUR LADY OF GRACE SOCCER
Dr. Jerry Antonino