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What is bullying?

Bullying is any deliberate, hurtful, upsetting, frightening or threatening behaviour by an individual or a group towards other people.

It is repeated over a period of time and it is very difficult for the victims to defend themselves (remember STOP – it happens Several Times On Purpose).

Bullying is mean and results in worry, fear, pain and distress to the victim/s.

Types of bullying

  • Emotional; being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books,
    threatening gestures), ridicule, humiliation.
  • Verbal; name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, threats, teasing, making rude
    remarks, making fun of someone.
  • Physical; pushing, kicking, hitting, pinching, throwing stones, biting, spitting,
    punching or any other forms of violence, taking or hiding someone’s things.
  • Racist; racial taunts, graffiti, gestures, making fun of culture and religion.
  • Sexual; unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive or sexist comments.
  • Homophobic; because of focusing on the issue of sexuality.
  • Online/cyber setting up ‘hate websites’ , sending offensive text messages,
    emails and abusing the victims via their mobile phones.
  • Any unfavourable or negative comments, gestures or actions made to someone
    relating to their disability or special education needs.

Bullying is not…

It is important to understand that bullying is not the odd occasion of falling out with friends, name calling, arguments or when the occasional trick or joke is played on someone.

It is bullying if it is done several times on purpose (STOP). Children sometimes fall out or say things because they are upset. When occasional problems of this kind arise, it is not classed as bullying.

It is an important part of children’s development to learn how to deal with friendship breakdowns, the odd name calling or hildish prank.

We all have to learn how to deal with these situations and develop social skills to repair relationships.

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