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Bullying defined

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Bullying is repeated verbal, physical, social or psychological behaviour that is harmful and involves the misuse of power by an individual or group towards one or more persons.

Behaviours that do not constitute bullying include:

  • mutual arguments and disagreements (where there is no power imbalance)
  • not liking someone or a single act of social rejection
  • one-off acts of meanness or spite
  • isolated incidents of aggression, intimidation or violence.

However, these conflicts still need to be addressed and resolved.

Cyberbullying refers to bullying that is carried out through information and communication technologies.

Bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence are all interpersonal behaviours that can create or contribute to negative social environments. All school communities should have clear definitions outlined in their school policies and procedures in their Responsible behaviour plan for students for bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence. The Bullying. No Way! website has more information and facts on bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence.

© Bullying. No Way! (www.bullyingnoway.gov.au 2014, Queensland Department of Education / Australian Education Authorities)

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Last updated 01 October 2019