Bullying is a problem encountered in society every day. Sometimes, this behaviour spills over into the classroom and onto playgrounds. Although conflict is a normal part of interacting with one another, bullying is not the result of normal conflict. It is never acceptable.
What is bullying?
The Ontario Ministry of Education defines bullying in this way:
“Bullying is typically a form of repeated, persistent, aggressive behaviour that is directed at an individual/s that is intended to cause (or should be known to cause) fear, distress and/or harm to another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem, or reputation. Bullying occurs in a context when there is real or perceived power imbalance.”
In other words:
- Bullying is a deliberate act.
- There is an intent to harm.
- It is persistent over time.
- There is an imbalance of power.
Where bullying is based on race, gender, creed, sexual orientation or other factors identified in the Ontario Human Rights Code, it is a form of discrimination.
Verbal bullying includes name calling, insults, threats or slurs; disrespectful, demeaning or untrue statements about individuals, their friends or family; and spreading of rumours or personal information
Physical bullying includes pushing, tripping, restraining, spitting, hitting, blocking the path of another person, not allowing an individual to walk or sit in certain areas, and theft of money or possessions.
Social bullying involves excluding an individual from activities or information, or agreeing with others to shut out or alienate one individual. It often includes forms of verbal and physical bullying, in that it can involve spreading rumours to alienate the individual, or even threatening friends into ending the relationship - sometimes to the point of having them join in the bullying.