The NSW Department of Education and Communities rejects all forms of bullying. All students and staff have the right to be treated fairly and with dignity in an environment free from disruption, intimidation, harassment, victimisation and discrimination.
All members of the school community contribute to preventing bullying by modelling and promoting appropriate behaviour and respectful relationships.
A Definition of Bullying
Bullying is repeated verbal, physical, social or psychological behaviour that is harmful and involves the misuse of power by an individual or group towards one or more persons. Cyberbullying refers to bullying through information and communication technologies.
Bullying can involve humiliation, domination, intimidation, victimisation and all forms of harassment including that based on sex, race, disability, homosexuality or transgender. Bullying of any form or for any reason can have long-term effects on those involved including bystanders.
Bullying can happen anywhere: at school, travelling to and from school, in sporting teams, between neighbours or in the workplace.
Bullying behaviour can be:
- verbal eg name calling, teasing, abuse, putdowns, sarcasm, insults, threats
- physical eg hitting, punching, kicking, scratching, tripping, spitting
- social eg ignoring, excluding, ostracising, alienating, making inappropriate gestures
- psychological eg spreading rumours, dirty looks, hiding or damaging possessions, malicious SMS and email messages, inappropriate use of camera phones.
Conflict or fights between equals and single incidents are not defined as bullying. Bullying behaviour is not:
- children not getting along well
- a situation of mutual conflict
- single episodes of nastiness or random acts of aggression or intimidation.
The following links provide additional information on preventing and responding to student bullying:
Taking Action, Keeping Safe
Taking Action, Keeping Safe: a resource for student leaders to counter bullying (PDF 936kB)
This resource provides strategies and support materials for student leaders and teachers to increase students' knowledge and understanding of bullying. Some of the activities may be used to support the Bullying: Preventing and Responding to Student Bullying in Schools Policy.
Activities within the resource have been designed to be conducted either by teachers with student leaders or by student leaders with other students. It is recommended that student leaders conduct activities with students in Years 5-8. Facilitator's notes are included to assist student leaders in conducting the activities.
Student leaders can have a positive impact on school climate. Students listen to their peers and student leaders can enhance discussion on issues such as bullying.
When student leaders work to support anti-bullying initiatives there are a number of advantages. For example, student-led learning:
- provides opportunities for the exchange of ideas between students and student leaders
- provides learning experiences that engage students and are relevant to their needs
- enables students to learn and practice decision making skills.
Student-led programs to counter bullying enhance student leadership and support and complement initiatives such as the Student Representative Council (SRC), peer mediation, peer mentoring or buddy programs.