What is bullying?
Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group that happens repeatedly over an extended period of time that hurts another person either physically or emotionally.
Bullying is never a normal part of growing up, character building or something that only happens to children. Whatever form it takes, bullying is always wrong but it can happen to anyone, both within school and outside in the wider community at any time.
Bullying is usually defined as behaviour that is:
- intended to hurt someone either physically or emotionally
- often aimed at certain groups, eg because of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation
It takes many forms and can include:
- physical assault
- making threats
- name calling
- cyberbullying - bullying via mobile phone or online (eg email, social networks and instant messenger)
Bullying should be reported to school in the first place - or someone you trust if it happens outside school, eg in a club or online.
Head teachers have the legal power to make sure pupils behave outside of school premises (state schools only).
This includes bullying that happens anywhere off the school premises, eg on public transport or in a town centre.
School staff can also choose to report bullying to the police or local council.
Where to get help and advice
There are lots of organisations that provide support and advice if you’re worried about bullying: