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Prevention of Bullying

The Department of Education defines bullying as:

“Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally.” 

Bullying can take many forms including:
  • name-calling, taunting, teasing, mocking

  • kicking, hitting, pushing, intimidating

  • unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature or sexually abusive comments

  • taking belongings

  • inappropriate text-messaging and emailing

  • sending offensive or degrading images by phone or over the internet

  • gossiping, spreading hurtful and untruthful rumours

  • excluding people from groups

  • ‘unofficial’ activities such as initiation ceremonies or practical jokes which may cause physical or emotional harm

Bullies will often pick on a particular feature of a person’s appearance or character as a supposed ‘reason’ for bullying:
  • racial difference; disability; sexuality; hair colour; gender
Bullies can be:
  • children or young people bullying others in their peer group, or other children and young people either older or younger

  • adults bullying children and young people

  • children and young people bullying adults

Bullying will always cause a great deal of pain and harm for those on the receiving end. Many children and young people affected by bullying believe they have nowhere to turn. They are scared to speak out and often blame themselves. They can become fearful and reclusive. Some signs that can indicate that a child or young person is being bullied are as follows:
  • withdrawal

  • lack of desire to join activities with certain individuals

  • drop in school marks

  • torn clothing

  • loss of friends

  • avoidance of church groups and other activities

  • bruises

  • need for extra money or supplies

In order to prevent bullying the following procedures should be adopted:
  • the children and young people themselves should be involved in agreeing a code of behaviour which makes it clear that bullying is unacceptable

  • children and young people should know how they can report any incidents of bullying

  • all allegations of bullying will be treated seriously

  • details will be checked carefully before action is taken

  • the bullying behaviour will be investigated and bullying will be stopped as quickly as possible

  • the parents of the bully and of the bullied will be informed

  • an attempt will be made to help bullies change their behaviour

  • all allegations and incidents of bullying will be recorded, together with actions that are taken

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