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Anti-Bullying Policy

  Anti-Bullying Policy

Smithfield Packers Youth Sports (SPYS) Anti-Bullying Policy

We consider bullying to be behavior ranging from verbal teasing to physical aggression. It is our position that no amount of bullying is acceptable. Not all joking or horseplay is bullying, but when the intent or effect is to cause distress, repetition of such behavior is bullying and will not be tolerated. It is the responsibility of everyone to stop bullying.

If a person involved in SPYS (and this includes players, coaches, managers, parents and volunteers) has taken part in bullying behavior, a warning will be given. If the behavior continues, that person may be subjected to sanctions such as suspension from SPYS. All incidents of bullying will be referred to the Board for further action, which can include further warnings, discussions with parents, further suspensions or exclusions, ineligibility for tournaments and playoffs, up to removal from the team.

Statement of Intent
We are committed to providing a friendly and safe environment for all participants so they can learn the game(s) and the skills necessary to participate in the game in a fun, positive and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at any practice, game or other SPYS sanctioned event associated with our programs. We will promote a transparent atmosphere. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is taking place is expected to report the incident, as indicated previously.

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 which create a hostile or intimidating environment, or which negatively affects a player or player’s performance. Bullying is harassment, intimidation by means of any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents that results in pain and distress to the victim. Bullying can be:
 - Emotional - being unfriendly or excluding someone.
 - Physical - pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence.
 - Sexual - unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments or homophobic remarks or focusing on the issue of sexuality. 
 - Verbal - Racial taunts, graffiti, gestures or other slurs, name-calling, spreading rumors, teasing, taunting or tormenting.

Objectives of this Policy
- All players, parents, coaches and Association Board members should have a clear understanding of what bullying is. Coaches and Staff shall ensure that all players and parents are provided a copy of the SPYS Anti-Bullying Policy and discuss the important points of the policy each year during the respective Parent/Coach Meeting. All players and parents should understand what they should do to report incidents involving bullying.
 - All coaches and Association Board members should be familiarized with the SPYS Anti-Bullying Policy each year and be made aware of the procedures to follow when bullying is reported.
 - As an Association, we take bullying seriously. Players and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
 - Bullying will not be tolerated at any practices, games or other SPYS sanctioned events.

Reporting Procedures
 - Parents should report bullying incidents to the team coach, commissioner, staff member, or any SPYS Board member. In cases of bullying, the coach or board member who was contacted shall submit a written report outlining the reported bullying behavior to the SPYS Executive Committee. 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 and/or coaching director to discuss the incident. In all cases, strict confidentiality shall be maintained.
 - 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, coaching director, or board member and asked to meet to discuss the incident. Depending on the severity of the situation, the parents may be asked to meet with representatives of the SPYS Board.

Consequences of Bullying
 - Any and all incidents of bullying, whether first offense or other, deemed minor or severe, will be reported to the coaching staff or SPYS Board immediately, and in writing within 24 hours. 
 - In a first offense situation involving bullying, an attempt will be made by the coach, commissioner, or parent 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 SPYS Board once reported by the parent, coach or commissioner.
 - If the bullying persists, disciplinary action against a player may be taken by the team coach and/or the SPYS Board which may include, but are not limited to, immediate suspension from participation in the practice or game(s) for a period of time. The Board 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 Board reserves the right to terminate further participation in the program by any player deemed to be involved in the bullying of other players.
 - After the incident/incidents have been investigated and dealt with, the situation will continue to be monitored by the respective team coach(es) and parents to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.

I have reviewed and understand the Smithfield Packers Youth Sports anti-bullying policy.

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Student-Athlete Date
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Parent/Guardian Date