LTK believes that bullying in any form is wrong and should not be tolerated, and that any environment that encourages bullying, or shows indifference to prejudice and discrimination is unacceptable. We believe that children, young people and adults should have the right to feel safe, secure and valued, and that creating a safe environment and dealing with bullying is everyone’s responsibility. There are numerous organisations out there that offer advice and guidance on how to deal with the issue of bullying. Listed below are just a few examples of groups that offer advice click on the name to visit their website:
Below is the UK Government guide on bullying at school:
1. The law
Some forms of bullying are illegal and should be reported to the police. These include:
violence or assault
repeated harassment or intimidation, eg name calling, threats and abusive phone calls, emails or text messages
Call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger.
Schools and the law
By law, all state (not private) schools must have a behaviour policy in place that includes measures to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils. This policy is decided by the school. All teachers, pupils and parents must be told what it is.
Schools must also follow anti-discrimination law. This means staff must act to prevent discrimination, harassment and victimisation within the school. This applies to all schools in England and Wales, and most schools in Scotland. Northern Ireland has different anti-discrimination law.
2. Reporting bullying
You should report bullying to your school in the first place - or someone you trust if it happens outside school, eg in a club or online. Tell the police if the bullying involves a crime.
Schools - reporting bullying
School staff will deal with bullying in different ways, depending on how serious the bullying is. They might deal with it in school, eg by disciplining bullies, or they might report it to the police or social services. Any discipline must take account of special educational needs or disabilities that the pupils involved may have.
Police - reporting bullying
Anyone can make a complaint to the police about bullying but it is usually a good idea to speak to your school first. If you are reporting cyberbullying, keep a record of the date and time of the calls, emails or texts - do not delete any messages you receive. Call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger.
3. Bullying outside school
Head teachers have the legal power to make sure pupils behave outside of school premises (state schools only).
This includes bullying that happens anywhere off the school premises, eg on public transport or in a town centre.
School staff can also choose to report bullying to the police or local council.
4. Bullying - a definition
There is no legal definition of bullying. However, it is usually defined as behaviour that is:
Your school should have its own definition of bullying.
- intended to hurt someone either physically or emotionally
- often aimed at certain groups, eg because of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation
- It takes many forms and can include: physical assault, teasing, making threats, name calling, cyberbullying - bullying via mobile phone or online (eg email, social networks and instant messenger)