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Definition of Bullying


Bullying is when an individual or group with more power at the time, deliberately and repeatedly use words, gestures, actions, physical contact against another individual which causes distress and creates a risk to their wellbeing.

Bullying is a very serious issue. It is recognised to be a prominent cause of truancy, underachievement, a decline in learning and depression.

Bullying may:

  • be systematic and  continue over time rather than a one off occurrence
  • be motivated by jealousy, distrust, fear, misunderstanding or lack of knowledge
  • make people feel threatened
  • be hidden from adults
  • continue if adults and peers take no action.
  • include any form of behaviour that is not welcome and not solicited.
  • be distressing and hurtful to the target/victim.

Bullying can be defined as:

  • physical bullying: being hit, tripped, kicked, pinched, spat upon and similar reactions
  • verbal bullying: being called names, teased, put down, racially abused and similar reactions
  • psychological bullying: being threatened, stalked, gestures and similar reactions
  • social bullying: being ignored, having rumours spread about you, excluding someone
  • sexual bullying: unwanted touching or brushing against someone, picking on someone because of their sexual orientation, gender issues, directing sexually explicit language at someone.
  • cyber bullying: insulting someone in chat rooms, sending cruel or threatening emails/text messages; using the web, chat rooms or mobile phones to spread rumours or information about someone. Cyber bullying includes aspects of sexting and sending any form of pornography to others.

Bullying can happen in any area of the school and community. Bullying is a difficult problem that only escalates when it is ignored. Research has demonstrated that bystanders play a significant role in bullying.

  • bystanders are present most of the time, where adults are rarely present
  • bullying behaviour is reinforced where people watch but do nothing
  • when bystanders do intervene; the bullying is more likely to stop quickly most of the time.


Anti-Bullying Code


Bullying interferes with learning and will not be tolerated at HBHS. It is not an acceptable part of growing up.

  • The DEC recognises bullying as an inappropriate behaviour, which can be dealt with according to the school’s discipline policy and suspension code.
  • Every student has the right to enjoy learning and leisure free from intimidation.
  • Students should support each other by reporting all instances of bullying. Saying nothing implicates a bystander as condoning or being complicit in the bullying.
  • Bullying is too important not to report.
  • Reports of bullying will be taken seriously and appropriate action will be taken.

Each member of the HBHS community has a duty of care and shares the collective responsibility to ensure every member feels safe, supported and valued at all times. Bullying, in any form, is never acceptable.

Tips for Students

  • Do not ignore bullying
  • Report any form of bullying to any trusted adult (s), member of staff or mentors within the school such as prefects or senior students
  • Stay calm and confident when bullied. Ignore the bully and walk away
  • Say NO if someone asks you to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable
  • Discuss issues about bullying with a trusted adult
  • Develop strategies to address bullying with assistance from staff (such as Head Teacher Wellbeing, Year Advisor, Counsellor or parent(s)/caregiver(s)
  • Report cyber bullying to parent (s)/caregiver(s) or your social media provider
  • Stand up and speak out if you witness or know about bullying happening to a friend or another person, ask the bully to stop, support the bullied person and report the incident
  • Involve yourself in school life beyond the classroom by participating in extra curricula activities
  • Help change the school community by collaborating and working with others  to stop bullying behaviours at HBHS
  • Become a positive role model by demonstrating aspects of the school’s SLR (Safety, Learning, Respect) matrix

If You are the Bully

  • Make a commitment to change
  • Focus on empathy and responsibility
  • Resist peer pressure to bully


Roles of the School


At HBHS members of the school community have rights and responsibilities. Students and staff have the right to feel safe and protected from bullying and harassment. The school responds quickly and firmly against bullying wherever and whenever it occurs.
The school is responsible for the implementation of an anti-bullying policy. The central components are strategies which are utilised for anticipated incidents. HBHS fosters a structured approach when dealing with student bullying.

Level 1

  • an incident record is kept
  • students are interviewed to ascertain the facts. A “No Blame” approach is used.
  • students are counselled
  • relevant school-based strategy is administered

Level 2

  • parent involvement including notification and interview
  • interventions across the school involving Deputy Principals, Head Teacher Wellbeing, Head Teachers and classroom teachers
  • use of monitoring structures
  • use of relevant support structures at school or available to the school

Level 3

  • discipline code. Students who persist in bullying, despite counselling and support, may be suspended and ultimately excluded from school. Students may be immediately suspended or excluded from school depending on the severity of the bullying.


Roles of the Staff


All staff will:

  • model and promote positive relationships that respect and accept individual differences and diversity within the school community
  • be aware of their duty of care
  • ensure that bullying or threatening behaviour is not tolerated in school.
  • respond to bullying immediately
  • have knowledge of school and departmental policies relating to bullying behaviours
  • support colleagues in procedural fairness and processes
  • support those dealing with incidents and issues revolved around bullying
  • be effective role models by modelling non-bullying behaviours
  • promote a safe and caring learning environment
  • reinforce school values
  • create environments that are conducive to the minimisation and prevention of bullying and harassment
  • adopt consistency in school rules and expected codes of behaviour from the Fair Discipline Code
  • arrive at class on time and move promptly between lessons
  • actively patrol during playground duty and to be aware of potential incident areas
  • teach assertive behaviours and resilience where applicable
  • deliver Quality Teaching lessons that promote equity and engages all students
  • encourage co-operative learning and group work activities
  • foster positive and supportive relationships with the whole school community
  • communicate and collaborate with parents when dealing with issues
  • encourage tolerance and empathy among the whole school community
  • utilise aspects of the school curriculum that will assist students to deal effectively with issues of bullying by providing lessons and activities to develop relevant knowledge, attitudes and skills.

Roles of the Parent


Your parent /carer role is to support your child/ward and collaborate with the school to resolve any issue /s related to bullying and harassment.

If your son is involved in bullying, either as a target or as an aggressor, communicate details to the school. Contact a Deputy Principal or Year Adviser as soon as possible.

  • Note ways and warning signs that indicate your son is being bullied.
  • Refer to the HBHS Anti-Bullying Policy, DEC website and relevant websites (see Resources).
  • If you suspect your son is involved in bullying at school encourage your son to talk to you, or a trusted adult family member, about it.
  • Tell your son you are there to help him should he need it.
  • Do NOT encourage your son to retaliate either physically or verbally.
  • Listen carefully and sympathetically. Try to get relevant detail in a calm and non-judgemental manner.
  • Describe accurately what has been happening to your son to your contact at the school.
  • Encourage your son to tell someone at school about it.
  • Stay involved in your son’s use of new technologies
  • Set rules over use of social media. Make sure your son knows what information he can share by phone or post online and which websites they can visit.
  • Discuss and negotiate the amount of time your son can spend online and ensure he maintains a balance.
  • Encourage and support your son in developing his talents and participating in extra-curricular activities or school initiatives that will build confidence and friendships.
  • Collaborate with staff in developing or utilising strategies related to building resilience in students.

Roles of the Student


  • Behave appropriately respecting individual differences and diversity
  • Take care of school property and respect the property of others
  • Follow school rules in all school environments including excursions
  • Behave as responsible digital citizens
  • Behave as responsible bystanders
  • Do NOT harass, intimidate or bully students, staff and community members in any manner whatsoever