Bullying & Cyber Bullying

What is bullying?

Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally.

Bullying can take many forms (for instance, cyber bullying via text messages or the internet), and is often motivated by prejudice against particular groups, for example on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or because a child is adopted or has caring responsibilities. It might be motivated by actual differences between children, or perceived differences.

Stopping violence and ensuring immediate physical safety is obviously a school’s first priority but emotional bullying can be more damaging than physical; teachers and schools have to make their own judgements about each specific case.

Source:  Department of Education.

What is cyber bullying?

Cyber bullying is a method of bullying and includes bullying via text message, instant messenger services, social network sites and email, as well as via images or videos posted on the internet or spread by mobile phones.

Tell me more

Some types of bullying are illegal and should be reported to the Police.  These include bullying that involves:

  • violence or assault
  • theft
  • harassment and intimidation over a period of time including calling someone names or threatening them, making abusive phone calls, and sending abusive emails or text messages (one incident is not normally enough to get a conviction)
  • anything involving hate crimes

Many incidents of bullying are not actually crimes, and therefore the best people to deal with them are parents, teachers or other responsible adults.

Further advice and support is available from the Safe Schools and Communities Team.

Local Authority:

Information and advice about cyberbullying can be found on the Internet Matters website

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