Dealing with Bullying
What is Bullying?
Bullying is the repeated intimidation by a person or group, over another person or group who are unable to stop the situation. Bullying incidents are unprovoked and can be physical, verbal, social or psychological in nature. Bullying can occur in person or through the use of technologies such as mobile phones and the Internet.
Bullying is when these things happen again and again to someone:
Being ignored, left out on purpose, or not being allowed to join in.
Being hit, kicked, tripped, punched or pushed around. When belongings are removed, damaged or hidden.
Lies or Rumours
Having lies or nasty stories told about you to make other kids not like you.
Being made afraid of getting hurt. Being forced to do something wrong. When someone demands your money or possessions
Verbal Abuse and Teasing
Being made fun of and teased in a mean and hurtful way. Includes name calling, being sworn at and prejudiced comments.
What if it happens to me?
- Don’t put up with it! Tell them to stop.
- Tell someone you trust: a teacher, a friend, parents. This is not “dobbing”.
- Don’t react. Just walk away with your head held up high.
- Use a strong, confident voice. Be assertive, don’t be “put down”.
- Avoid the person who is harassing you.
- Stay away from places where you might be bullied.
- Don’t show you are scared even if you might be.
- Don’t try to swap insults.
- Remember, you are not alone.
What if it happens to someone else?
If you witness someone being bullied, we hope you care enough to want to help. We all need to work together if we are going to stop bullying behaviour in our school. You should:
- Offer friendship and support to the person being bullied. Encourage them to get help from an adult, family or councillor.
- If possible, intervene while the bullying is happening by saying, “Leave him/her alone!” or “Cut it out!” or “Hey, that’s not fair!”.
- Report the incident to a teacher or parent as soon as you can. Don’t be afraid to come forward as you can speak in privacy and your identity will be kept anonymous if you desire.
What will the school do?
The school implements bullying prevention and social skills programs designed to build student understanding, resilience and assertiveness when facing bullying situations. If bullying occurs, staff will:
- Listen and respond with empathy.
- Manage the situation using a “shared concern” approach.
- Hear both parties explain the situation and counsel where necessary.
- Record incidents of bullying.
- Ensure there is a follow up with the student being bullied.
- Inform Administration of the incident.
- Contact parents of the child being bullied and the child who is bullying.
- Apply consequences to students who bully others ranging from reprimand, detention and suspension,depending on the severity of the incident.
What can parents do?
Try not to over-react. Listen calmly and try to work out the facts. Be aware of the signs of distress in your child that could be caused by being bullied:
- Unwillingness to attend school
- A pattern of illness (e.g. sick on school mornings)
- A decline in the quality of school work
- Becoming withdrawn and lacking confidence
- Crying at night, having nightmares, lack of sleep
- Having unexplained bruises, cuts, scratches
- Beginning to bully other children or siblings
- Becoming aggressive or unreasonable
- Asking for money or starting to steal
- An uncharacteristic desire to be with an adult
If your child is being bullied, discourage any planned retaliation, either physical or verbal, by discussing the positive strategies that can be used.
Sometimes your child may tell you about a bullying incident but is too frightened to report it. This protects the person who is bullying and prevents staff from helping. Please assure your child that their identity will be kept safe.
Do not deal directly with the other children or their parents but work through and with the school. Contact the school and make an appointment with staff or admin.
Parents can help their child become more assertive and resilient by modelling such behaviour and by talking about strategies that can be used. It is important for adults to not overprotect students who have been bullied. An adult protector will not always be around to shield them.
What if my child is bullying others?
All children are capable of bullying others. It is normal for parents to feel shocked, embarrassed and even doubtful if they find that their child has been bullying others. To help discourage children from bullying others, parents can:
- Talk about bullying behaviour with them and discuss why they may want to bully someone.
- Suggest other more positive actions than bullying.
- Help your child to be aware of the effects that bullying has on others.
- Be alert and discourage bullying behaviour at home.
- Encourage and provide opportunities for children to openly discuss any issues or concerns with you.
- Teach your children what is appropriate behaviour and how you expect them to treat others.
Who can parents talk to about bullying at our school?
Your child’s classroom teacher, Principal and Deputy Principals, Mentors and other staff members.