What is bullying?
Bullying is the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. It can happen face-to-face or through cyberspace, and comes in many different forms:
- Verbal: Name calling, persistent teasing, mocking, taunting and threats.
- Physical: Any form of physical violence, intimidating behaviour, theft or the intentional damage of possessions. This includes hitting, kicking and pushing.
- Emotional: Excluding, tormenting, ridiculing, humiliation, setting people up and spreading rumours.
- Cyber: The misuse of digital technologies or communications to bully a person or a group, typically through messages or actions that are threatening and/or intended to cause offence, anxiety or humiliation.
Who gets bullied?
Children and young people are most commonly bullied because of a real or perceived ‘difference’. This difference can be anything, including:
- Racist: Bullying based on ethnicity, skin colour, language, religious or cultural practices.
- Disabilist: The bullying of children who have special educational needs and disabilities.
- Discriminative: Bullying based on any perceived weakness such as children in fostering or care homes, young carers, those with disabled siblings or parents, single parent families, low economic backgrounds.
What is NOT bullying
- One-off incidents: Bullying is usually persistent and repetitive, and is intended to make others feel frightened
- Mutual conflict: A disagreement, argument or fight in which both parties have equally participated and where there is no imbalance of power
Even though these things are not bullying they can still cause distress. Remember that adults in school are good at helping to resolve problems. Please make sure you tell an adult if someone has been unkind.
What to do if think you or someone else is being bullied
If you suspect someone is being bullied, you should always tell an adult. There are lots of adults in school that you can tell including:
- Any teacher or teaching assistant
- Any lunchtime supervisor
- Any member of the leadership team
- Any member of the office staff