What is bullying?

Bullying can be defined as repeated and systematic harassment, involving the abuse of power and includes doing or saying something to intentionally hurt someone else.

Bullies can work on their own or in a pack and their victims may experience significant psychological harm which interferes with their social, academic and emotional development.


Types of Bullying

Name calling, mocking, laughing at a person’s expense

Pushing, kicking, punching, throwing

Using technology such as e-mail, IM, chat rooms, cell phones

Silent treatment, rumour spreading, social isolation, exclusion, manipulation or friendships

Sexually abusive or inappropriate comments, unwanted physical contact

Racial slurs, offensive gestures, jokes about cultural tradition


Bullying is often breaking the law

  • Assault (hitting, kicking, scratching, throwing, using a weapon)
  • Threatening (bodily harm or death)
  • Mischief (damaging personal property)
  • Robbery (taking someone’s property)


The Four Markers of Bullying

  1. An imbalance of power
  2. Intent to harm
  3. Threat to further aggression
  4. When the bulling escalates, unabated terror


Bulling it not about anger, or even about conflict. It is about contempt – a powerful feeling of dislike toward someone considered to be worthless, inferior or undeserving of respect.  Contempt comes with three apparent psychological advantages that allow kids to hard others without feeling empathy, compassion or shame:

  • A sense of entitlement – the right to control, dominate, overpower and abuse another person
  • An intolerance toward others
  • A liberty to exclude – to bar, isolate, and segregate a person deemed not worth of respect or care.
  • Unhappy or frightened
  • Feeling unsafe
  • Loss of confidence
  • Reluctance to go to school
  • Declining grades
  • Embarrassment
  • Shyness
  • Stomach-aches
  • Headaches
  • Exhaustion
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nightmares
  • Sleeping too much
  • Anxiety/stress
  • Feeling lonely
  • Panic attacks
  • Thoughts of suicide or violence


If you are being bullied


  • Tell the bully to stop!
  • Be brave. Tell them “I want you to stop now” or “You wouldn’t like it if someone treated you this way.
  • Walk away. Ignoring the bully is a way to make them stop – they are looking for a reaction.
  • Tell parents/teacher/ a trust adult
  • Avoid locations you know that the bully will be.


A bystander is someone who watches, sees and/or knows that someone is being bullied.  Bystanders carry a lot of power because they have the ability to get help for a victim of bullying.  By intervening, you support the victim and often, it causes the bully to stop quickly.

Reporting a Bully:

It is important that whether you are a victim or bystander, you report bullying behaviour.

Report to:

  • Someone you trust
  • Your Principal
  • Your Teacher
  • Your Parents/Guardian
  • Your School Liaison Officer

Bullying (179 KB)