Bullying is repeated verbal, physical, social or psychological behavior that is harmful and involves the misuse of power by an individual or group towards one or more persons. Cyber bullying refers to bullying through information and communication technologies.
Bullying can involve humiliation, domination, intimidation, victimization and all forms of harassment including that based on sex, race, disability, homosexuality or transgender. Bullying of any form or for any reason can have long-term effects on those involved including bystanders.
Bullying can happen anywhere: at school, traveling to and from school, in sporting teams, between neighbors or in the workplace.
Bullying behavior can be:
- Verbal: name calling, teasing, abuse, putdowns, sarcasm, insults, threats
- Physical: hitting, punching, kicking, scratching, tripping, spitting
- Social: ignoring, excluding, ostracizing, alienating, making inappropriate gestures
- Psychological: spreading rumors, dirty looks, hiding or damaging possessions, malicious SMS and email messages, inappropriate use of camera phones
Conflict or fights between equals and single incidents are not defined as bullying. Bullying behavior is not:
- children not getting along well
- a situation of mutual conflict
- single episodes of nastiness or random acts of aggression or intimidation
Note: Any student who inadvertently possesses or finds a weapon or substance, which may subject the student to a possible expulsion, may or may not be recommended for these sanctions if the student voluntarily surrenders the property to a school staff person prior to discovery by another person. This acknowledgement should be done as soon as the student realizes that he/she is in possession of or has knowledge about the weapon or substance.