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What is School Bullying?



Bullying involves an initial desire to hurt, this desire is expressed in action, someone is hurt, the action is directed by a more powerful person or group, it is without justification, it is typically repeated, and it is done so with evident enjoyment." Ken Rigby ( 1998).


  • School bullying is the psychological, emotional, social or physical harassment of one student by another.
  • The most common form of bullying for both sexes is verbal eg teasing, harassment and name-calling. It is also the most painful type of bullying and has the longest lasting impact.
  • Other forms of bullying include extortion, threats, malicious rumours, physical violence, damage to property.
  • Bullying includes behaviours that are verbal, physical, cyber instigated or anti-social, such as exclusion, gossip and non-verbal body language.
  • The nature and extent of bullying can vary from direct to indirect harassment, from minor irritation to major assault, from "just having a bit of fun" to breaking the law.
  • Cyber bullying is the latest form of bullying; often it can be traced and blocked.
  • A student can be bullied by one child or by a group for years.
  • Bullying can happen sporadically or over a long period of time.
  • Some children are bullied wherever they go, at any school.
  • Bullying occurs in any school: small, large, single sex, co-educational, traditional and progressive.
  • Bullying occurs in primary, secondary, boarding school and tertiary institutions.
  • It occurs at school, in transit between school and home, at local shopping centres, parties or parks.
  • The playground is the most common place for bullying to occur.
  • The majority of children have the potential to be bullies and/or targets.
  • Both parents and teachers can bully or experience bullying within the school community.
  • Most children believe that bullying cannot be stopped.
  • Most children say that they would feel happier and learn
    better if they felt safer at school.
  • Bullying is one of the major reasons children contact help lines.

Bullying is subjective


Bullying involves an initial desire to hurt, this desire is expressed in action, someone is hurt, the action is directed by a more powerful person or group, it is without justification, it is typically repeated, and it is done so with evident enjoyment.
  • The crucial feature is that the target feels powerless. They regard themselves being bullied.
  • The critical issue is the extent of physical, psychological and other damage that injures the victim.
  • The impact on the target is made worse by fear of future attacks and fear adults won’t help.


  • Many bullies don't realise at a conscious level that their behaviours are mean or abusive.
  • At an unconscious level they know that they’re taking the target's power away because otherwise they couldn’t do it.
  • Most bullies don’t know that their bullying behaviours can boomerang back later on and hurt them. 

Gender stuff:

  • Both girls and boys can be bullies and victims.
  • Boys bully both boys and girls. Girls generally bully other girls.
  • Boys bully more openly and experience more physical bullying and threats.
  • Girls can be physical, but prefer indirect methods such as verbal, emotional and social bullying. This includes persistent teasing, taunting, devaluing, isolation from the group and spreading malicious rumours, all of which are less obvious to teachers.
  • Boys use bullying tactics to make a reputation and girls use bullying tactics to protect their reputation


  • Most children have either been bullied, bully others or witnessed bullying at school.
  • More than one in five children are bullied regularly at school. Some are bullied occasionally.
  • About one in five children can bully.
  • In American schools, an estimated 160,000 children miss school every day, due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. 20% of students carry weapons to school to feel safer, 22% of students are victimised at the beginning of the year and 8% are victimised during the remainder of the year. 50% of students knew of a student who had switched schools to feel safer.
  • 40% of suicide victims had been bullied at school. ( Victorian Coroner 2007)
  • National School Safety Centre, USA, estimates that 525,000 " attacks, shakedowns and robberies" occur in an average month in public secondary schools.
  • Two thirds of school shootings were conducted   by victims of bullying.
  • More than 50 % of teachers report being bullied at school ( BBC TV 2006, NSW Teachers Union Study 2004)
  • The National Education Association USA reports that every day 6,250 teachers are threatened with bodily harm and 260 are actually physically assaulted. 



8 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.

Jun 2, 2008 3:47am [ 1 ]

i feel that buylling is for the weak but people who get bullied arn't

jjj---ddooggggg *Weribone
Jun 1, 2009 2:09am [ 2 ]

Go Dennis Ferguson!!!! but we encourage that bullying stops but still go dennis!!

Jun 1, 2009 2:12am [ 3 ]

To mitchy i think you are right! bullying should stop in all schools.

PS: i love yous all cuz xx

Emma Mills
Jul 1, 2009 2:09am [ 4 ]

The NSW Department of Education guidelines state that all schools are required to have anti-bullying strategies in place within their codes of conduct. Bullying is only going to get worse if these guidelines aren’t enforced in the right way. It is not the problem of bullying we should be addressing but the guidelines that are unable to help the 20% of students in Australian schools that have experienced bullying and harassment.

Feb 16, 2010 12:59am [ 5 ]

l have to say we have to stand to get togeter and stop bullying.

Mar 7, 2010 3:31am [ 6 ]

Bullying is cruel and sad. When will humans stop and realise that it is wrong, it is like poison coarsing through the viens of the bully and infecting the victim. SO i ask when will it stop, and no one answers me. Is it because it will forever remain, never resting, always hurting, and they do not answer me to spare me from the harsh truth, known as reality.

Apr 3, 2010 1:48am [ 7 ]

OMG i totaly agree with mitchy and jordo, bullying is really bad and it has to stop!!!

Joey Taylor
Jun 22, 2010 1:11am [ 8 ]

Bullying unfortunatley people, is darwin's theory of evolotion in play. it is the mentaly or physically stonger preying on thier pray... the weaker. Now you can sit here and cry and moan all you want but at the end of the day you need to realise : to stop bullying in school's ,or any where for that matter, is a pipe dream. irrational. un-achievable. To stop bullying would require people to stop thinking, it would require people to have no opinion's.

now yes we could do this with a special force of people that enforce our believe's onto other's but hang on.... a group of other's enforceing what they believe on other's?? THAT SOUND'S LIKE BULLYING!

do you understand now? do you see? bullying is a part of life and only the weak let it consume them

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