School Bullying

About School Bullying

School bullying is a deliberate physical or psychological harassment of a child by another child while at school, or on the way to school or home. It can involve physical bullying such as hitting and punching, verbal harassment, intimidation, spreading hurtful rumours, social exclusion and other forms of repeated behaviour that causes emotional, psychological or physical harm to the victim.

Who Is Involved in School Bullying

School bullying almost always involves the bullied, bully or bullies and bystanders.

The research shows that any child or young person can be a victim of bullying, regardless of his or her gender, ethnicity, age or socio-economic background. However, the researchers have also discovered that the bullied most often stand out from their peers in some way. Most often by:

Bullies are often children who have a strong desire to establish control over other children and generally don’t have sympathy for their victim’s feelings. Often, the bullies are bullied or abused themselves. Not all children and young people, however, are deliberately hurting others. They sometimes aren’t aware that teasing, calling names, exclusion, etc. is causing a serious distress to other child.

Bullying typically happens in front of one or multiple bystanders who can take different roles. They can:

Differences Between Boys and Girls

Both boys and girls can be bullies and may engage in both physical and psychological harassment of other child or young person. However, the research reveals that boys are more likely to use physical form of bullying, while girls are more likely to engage in verbal and social bullying such as spreading hurtful rumours, calling names, making hurtful remarks, excluding the victim from the group, etc.

Why School Bullying Often Remains Undetected Until It Gets Severe

The statistics show that school bullying often remains undetected until it gets severe because it typically happens during absence of teachers and other adults, and because of children’s perception of unacceptable behaviour. They consider a certain degree of peer harassment as “normal” or even amusing, especially if it doesn’t involve physical violence. As a result, they don’t see a reason to report it. The victims, on the other hand, often feels too ashamed or scared to tell an adult about their concerns. Parents and teachers are therefore recommended to watch for signs of bullying such as unexplained injuries, damaged clothing, and changes in behaviour (e.g. withdrawal, irritability or aggression) and school performance.