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What is Bullying?

Bullying is an unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves an imbalance of real or perceived power between individuals with the intent to cause harm. Students who are the targets of bullying behavior and those who exhibit bullying behavior toward others may suffer serious, lasting consequences.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must include:
A Deliberate Act: To cause emotional or physical harm to another individual.
An Imbalance of Power: Those who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others.
Power imbalances can change over time and vary in different situations, even if they involve the same people.Repetition: Bullying behaviors that display more than one time or have the potential to happen more than once.Verbal, Social/Psychological/Relational, and Physical are three types of bullying outlined by the federal government and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Verbal Bullying is saying or writing hurtful things. Examples include:
• Teasing
• Name-calling
• Inappropriate sexual comments
• Taunting
• Threatening to cause harm
Social Bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves harming someone's reputation or relationships. Examples include:
• Leaving someone out of an activity on purpose
• Influencing others not to be friends with someone
• Spreading rumors about someone
• Embarrassing someone in public
Physical Bullying involves inflicting harm upon a person's body or damaging their possessions. Examples include:
• Hitting/kicking/pinching
• Spitting
• Tripping/pushing
• Taking or breaking someone's possessions
• Making cruel or rude hand gestures
Students can play the role of bully (instigator/perpetrator of bullying behavior), of target (recipient/object of bullying behavior), or of bystander (witness/observer of bullying behavior). Students may play one or more of these roles at different times.


What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place via electronic communications or digital devices such as cell phones, tablets, or computers. It is deliberate harassing, intimidating, shaming, or otherwise targeting another person via electronic devices. Cyberbullying is a serious act that has lasting consequences. This type of bullying is becoming more prevalent every day. Examples include:
• Demeaning or hateful text messages or emails
• Rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites
• Embarrassing pictures, videos, website, or fake profiles posted online
Cyberbullying commonly occurs on social media as: text messaging through devices; instant messaging through devices; email provider services; social media message features; diary sites; interactive games; online profiles; Apps; and more.
With easy access and the prevalence of such media and digital forums, personal content can be viewed by strangers as well as acquaintances. Racism, intolerance, and fear can also play a role.
Cyberbullying has special aspects. It can be persistent, permanent, and/or hard to notice. When it is persistent, it can be difficult for students experiencing it to find relief. When the cyberbullying is posted online, it becomes publicly available and may lead to a negative online reputation impacting college admissions, employment, and other areas of life.
Cyberbullying is harder to recognize since educators and parents may not overhear or see it taking place. Similar to acts of bullying, students may be reluctant to report cyberbullying due to humiliation or embarrassment.
Why is Cyberbullying Different?
Students who are being cyberbullied are often bullied in person as well. Additionally, students who are cyberbullied have a more difficult time escaping the negative behavior.
• Cyberbullying can occur 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a student when he or she is alone and/or when in their own home.
• Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source.
• Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent.

Social Media Bullying

What is Social Media Bullying?
With the rise of mobile phones and hand-held devices, social media has become part of everyone’s life and the use of social media has seen the growth of online bullying. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat allow people to share photos and video instantly around the world. We communicate with our friends and family through social media and it has become a vital part of the business.
Unfortunately, these advancements in technology have also seen advancements in cyberbullying. We have seen an increase in bullying, harassment or victimisation online. Social media gives bully’s a safe environment to say what they want and target whom they please. Forms of cyberbullying via social media can include the following:
  • Spreading malicious and abusive rumors
  • Repeated harassment
  • Intimidation or blackmail
  • On-line stalking
  • Posting ebarrassing or humiliating images of another person
  • Posting another person's private details
  • Grooming
  • Trolling
Possible forums for social media bullying include: 1) Internet websites with free registration and ease of registration 2) Internet websites offering peer-to-peer instant messaging 3) Internet websites offering comment forums or sections 4) Internet websites offering image or video posting platforms.
If someone is bullying you via social media, the first thing you should do is block the person that's bullying you and report them to the social media site. Try to document the bullying with a screenshot of the message or photo as you may need this as proof. If your son or daughter is being cyberbullied on social media you should also talk to the school.
The chances are that the bullying is not isolated to just social media The school has a duty of care to look after and protect your child and they must be made aware of any concerns you have. Below we have detailed the steps to block or report a bully via some of the more popular social platforms.

Board Policies


Bullying Incident Report (Students/Parents)