What is Bullying?
Definition of bullying
Bullying is any behaviour by an individual or group that:
- Is deliberately meant to cause harm- the person or people doing the bullying know what they are doing and mean to do it.
- It happens more than once - there is a pattern of behaviour, not just a ‘one off’ incident
- It involves an imbalance of power - the person/people being bullied will usually find it very hard to defend themselves.
Types of Bullying
- Physical, e.g., Kicking, hitting, taking and damaging property
- Verbal; e.g. name calling, taunting, offensive remarks, teasing
- Relational; e.g. gossiping, spreading rumours, excluding from social groups
- Cyber; e.g. text messages, emails, instant messaging (Snapchat, WhatsApp), picture/video bullying
- Prejudice based; e.g. related to sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, special educational needs or disability.
Signs and Symptoms of Bullying
A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and should investigate if a child:
- is frightened of walking to or from school
- doesn’t want to go on the bus
- begs to be driven to school
- changes their usual routine
- is unwilling to go to school (school phobic)
- begins to truant
- becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
- starts stammering
- attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
- cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
- feels ill in the morning
- begins to do poorly in school work
- comes home with clothes torn or books damaged
- has possessions which are damaged or “go missing”
- asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)
- has dinner or other monies continually “lost”
- has unexplained cuts or bruises
- comes home starving (lunch/money has been stolen)
- becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
- is bullying other children or siblings
- stops eating
- is frightened to say what’s wrong
- gives improbable excuses for any of the above
- is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone
- is nervous and jumpy when a cyber message is received.
- An opportunity to reflect on how students live out the school virtues and values
- Create a safe and respectful environment where students can convey the impact of the harm to those responsible and for those responsible to acknowledge this impact and put steps in place to ensure this behaviour is not repeated.
- An opportunity to resolve conflict and prevent harm to others.
Restorative Conferences (conversations)
These are held when a student has shown inappropriate behaviour towards other members of the school community (bullying concern)
- To bring all affected parties together
- To discuss the incident in a calm manner
- To discuss ways to put it right
- To write an agreement of actions/behaviour going forward
- What happened? (victim and perpetrator)
- What were you thinking? (then and now)
- How were/are you feeling?
- Who has been affected and how?
- What needs to happen to put this right?
Support and Advice
Tel: 0800 11111
Tel: KIDSCAPE Parents Helpline (Mon-Fri, 10- 4) 0845 1 205 204
Tel: Parentline Plus 0808 800 2222
Useful Links and Documents