For the purpose of this policy, we shall follow internationally recognised criteria as follows:

What is recognised as Bullying

• Bullying is the deliberate, repeated, hostile/aggressive behaviour of an individual or group over time intending to harm others or gain real or perceived power.  Anything which happens once only is not likely to be an act of bullying, although an experienced teacher may see the signs and nip it in the bud.
• It may be: 

Physical (injury or threat of injury, theft or damage of possession).
Social (peer rejection to humiliate, isolate a person, rumours, intimidation).
Verbal (derogatory teasing, taunting or insulting, threatening third parties, sexual comment).
Written (discrimination, and/or bullying, intimidation. Specifically includes electronic communication.  Further guidance is found in the school online safety policy under 'Guidelines for Parents' section in the Community dropdown menu, with which this section overlaps).  
Cyber bulling is the use of technology, especially cell phones and the internet to deliberately hurt or upset someone.  As technology develops, bullying evolves to exploit it.  Children must understand that maintaining silence in a group involving this makes them complicit.  They must know how to leave a group or to block, and be prepared to do it.

• Bullying may occur in school, at school events, at school events off school grounds.  It may not directly involve the school but could foreseeably disrupt the educational process or affect the school community.

What is not Bullying 

Conflict between children is not bullying.  Conflict is a difference of opinion or interests between relative equals during which emotions may run high.  It is a normal part of group dynamics (after which an unhappy loser somethings tries to call in adult reinforcements).  Conflict resolution is an important skill for children to learn. 

  • Not liking someone
  • Being excluded from a game – unpleasant but probably not bullying
  • Accidents – without bad intention
  • Wanting things done their own way
  • A single act of telling a joke about someone. (There is a fine line between having a sense of humour and making fun of someone.)
  • Single acts of harassment, aggression, intimidation.

Any of these may require parents or teachers to guide the parties concerned, but they would likely not trigger school anti-bullying protocols.  Instead, this would probably be conflict resolution, but quite possibly a quiet chat about how to best handle the situation would be the best response from an adult. 

Prevention of Bullying 

Chisipite has co-operation and caring for others at the heart of its ethos, and this is modelled by staff.  All dealings with children should be marked by fair and consistent treatment of all parties to any complaint in a calm and objective demeanour.  These attributes should be the norm, and that once everyone understands the difference between conflict and bullying, the problem is not marked.  Nevertheless, the misery caused by bullying and its effect on the entire school dictates that it is a matter which requires continual vigilance.