Karoo Primary School students, staff and parents have the right to a safe and caring environment which promotes learning, personal growth and positive self esteem. Our school is committed to providing this and each student, teacher and parent has the responsibility to ensure that this occurs. Karoo Primary School does not accept bullying in any form.
Bullying is repeated verbal, physical, social or psychological aggressive behaviour by a person or group directed towards a less powerful person or group that is intended to cause harm, distress or fear.
Types of bullying behaviour
The Department of Education and Training’s Building Respectful and Safe Schools (2010) identifies four types of bullying.
These are some specific types of bullying behaviour:
- Physical bullying includes hitting, kicking, tripping, pinching and pushing, damaging property or displaying offensive posters.
- Verbal bullying includes name calling, insults, teasing, intimidation, homophobic or racist remarks, or verbal abuse, targeted name-calling or jokes.
- Covert bullying is often harder to recognise and can be carried out behind the bullied person’s back. It is designed to harm someone’s social reputation and/or cause humiliation. Covert bullying includes:
- lying and spreading rumours
- negative facial or physical gestures, menacing or contemptuous looks
- playing nasty jokes to embarrass and humiliate
- mimicking unkindly
- encouraging others to socially exclude someone damaging someone’s social reputation or social acceptance.
- Cyberbullying is overt or covert bullying behaviours using digital technologies. Examples include harassment via a mobile phone, setting up a defamatory personal website or deliberately excluding someone from social networking spaces. Cyberbullying can happen at any time. It can be in public or in private, and sometimes only known to the target and the person bullying.
Signs that your child might be being bullied
It’s not always easy to tell if a young person is being bullied, as sometimes they don’t want to disclose what’s happening to them.
If you notice a significant change in behaviour, this could be cause for concern. Other signs can include changes to mood or eating and sleep patterns; withdrawal from family, social groups or friends; decline in school performance or unwillingness to attend; lost, torn or broken belongings; scratches or bruises, or implausible excuses for any of the above.
What to do if your child is bullying others
- Stay calm. Remember, the behaviour is at fault, rather than the child.
- Make sure your child knows bullying behaviour is inappropriate and why.
- Try to understand the reasons why your child has behaved in this way and look for ways to address problems.
- Encourage your child to look at it from the other’s perspective, for example, “how would you feel if…”
- Help your child think of alternative paths of action.
- Provide appropriate boundaries for their behaviour.