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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 cyberbullying 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