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.
Bullying can involve humiliation, domination, intimidation, victimisation and all forms of harassment including that based on sex, race, disability, sexual orientation or practice of religion. Bullying of any form, or for any reason, can have long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders.
Bullying can happen anywhere: at school, travelling to and from school, in sporting teams, between neighbours, or in the workplace.
Bullying behavior can be:
- verbal, e.g. repeated name calling, teasing, abuse, putdowns, sarcasm, insults, threats
- physical, e.g. repeated hitting, punching, kicking, scratching, tripping, spitting
- social, e.g. repeated ignoring, excluding, ostracising, alienating, making inappropriate gestures
- psychological, e.g. repeated spreading rumours, 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 behaviour is not:
- children not getting along well
- a situation of mutual conflict
- single episodes of nastiness or random acts of aggression or intimidation.
(NSW Public Schools Website)
Cyber-bullying involves the use of any information communication technology by an individual or group to carry out deliberate, isolated or repeatedly hostile behaviour that is intended to harm others, or is undertaken recklessly without concern for its impact on others.
Safe Environment and Duty of Care
A safe environment for students is one where the risk of harm in minimised and students feel secure. Harm relates not only to the dangers in the built environment but also to violence, physical threats, verbal abuse, threatening gestures, sexual harassment and racial vilification (Board of Studies, NSW).
Schools and their teaching staff have a duty to take reasonable care for the safety and wellbeing of students while students are at school or are involved in a school activity. They need to be able to foresee possible harms that might arise and take reasonable preventative measures.
The Police Local Area Command (LAC) appoints a Schools Liaison Officer to schools. The Liaison Officer can provide advice on a wide range of areas associated with bullying. These could include understanding the best ways to address instances of bullying from the perspective of legal or criminal processes, or providing general advice on the burden of proof required for a bullying matter to be progressed through the legal system. Schools have a reciprocal obligation as responsible corporate citizens to provide the police with any relevant information they have on community members engaged in matters of interest to the police. Schools should keep in regular contact with their Schools Liaison Officer.
For the purposes of this policy, a parent is deemed to be any biological parent, adoptive parent, or person who is formally the primary caregiver for a student enrolled in a Sydney systemic Catholic school.
Pastoral Care Policy
Each school will implement the SCS Student Wellbeing and Pastoral Care Policy and the Management of Students with Challenging Behaviours Primary and Secondary Guidelines.
A perpetrator is a person who is responsible for bullying another person.
SCS will strive to implement appropriate protection and safety processes for technology, such as filtering devices and surveillance of content, while recognising that the rapidity of technological change requires regular adaptation.