Playful People Productions – Bullying and Relational Aggression Policy

Definition of terms used in this policy:

Relational Aggression (R.A.): Nonphysical acts, such as insults or social rejection, aimed at harming the social connection between the victim and others. (Source 1)

Bullying: Bullying is characterized by the following three criteria:

  1. It is aggressive behavior or intentional ‘harmdoing’
  2. Which is carried out repeatedly and over time
  3. In an interpersonal relationship characterized by an imbalance of power.
    (Source 2)

Playful People Productions is a developmentally-based, Positive Discipline theater company. We strive to recognize that children are developing and learning at individual rates and may, from time to time, need positive re-direction for unwanted behaviors. We want all children in our company to feel safe and empowered to self-advocate.

Sadly, both R.A. and Bullying happen in our world. Any child may ‘try on’ these behaviors at one time or another. Children who have been victims may also ‘try on’ these behaviors. Developmentally, this happens. It does not make the behavior ok or acceptable. We view it as part of our job to work on social and emotional development of children to address these behaviors and reinforce desired, positive relationships among our actors.

Parents, on hearing R.A./ Bullying happening, are asked to use a Positive Discipline approach for conflict resolution between the two parties. If the parent is not comfortable doing this, we ask that they not intervene but instead let a PPP Staff Member know what is going on so that the situation can be addressed. Our goal is to address the behavior promptly so it can be used as a learning experience for all involved and continue the safety of all actors.

If conflict resolution is used, we ask for parents to let a PPP Staff Member know as soon as they can. Playful People Productions takes R.A./Bullying seriously. We like to be informed of situations so if there is an ongoing problem we can address it from a company perspective.

Parents, if your actor is having issues with another actor in the company, we encourage you to:
1. Have the child approach Barb or Katie for help in conflict resolution (we know this can be hard for children but gives them self-advocacy skills in a safe environment); OR
2. As the parent, inform Barb or Katie (in person or via email), to allow them to be aware of the issue and address it.

Cases on ongoing/continued R.A./Bullying will be addressed on an individual basis with consequences to be determined by show directors.

(1) Berger, Kathleen Stassen – The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 2008, pg. 295
(2) Olweus, D. (1999) in Sweden. In P.K Smith, Y. Morita, J. Junger-Tas, D. Olweus, R. Catalano & P. Slee (eds.) The Nature of School Bullying: A cross-national perspective., pp. 10-11. New York: Routledge.

Copyright 2013 Playful People Productions. Last updated: January, 2014

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