Bullying for Teachers
I believe a school should create an environment where children understand from the moment they start school that bullying,
aggression and violence are not acceptable.
The bullying child needs support, supervision, and mentoring, while being helped to understand that violence is not acceptable.
If the bullying child refuses to respond positively, then ultimately the removal of the child from the class/school is in
order to protect the rights of the majority of children who do choose to conform to the required social norms.
The children who are non-violent, not physically strong, or physically small, are always vulnerable; their needs are
It's the non-violent children who will go on to make the biggest contribution to society.
Bullying and harassment should not be ignored or tolerated.
If a student approaches you and tells you that he or she is being bullied, take the complaint seriously.
Bullying is persistent unwelcome behaviour, mostly using unwarranted or invalid criticism, nit-picking, fault-finding,
also exclusion, isolation, being singled out and treated differently, being shouted at, humiliated, excessive monitoring,
having verbal and written warnings imposed, and much more
Bullying can include:
Damage to your belongings
Spreading malicious rumours
Why do people bully?
The purpose of bullying is to hide inadequacy.
Bullies project their inadequacy on to others:
a) to avoid facing up to their inadequacy and doing something about it;
b) to avoid accepting responsibility for their
behaviour and the effect it has on others, and,
c) to reduce their fear of being seen for what they are, namely a
weak, inadequate and often incompetent individuals, and,
d) to divert attention away from their inadequacy - in an insecure
or badly-managed workplace, this is how inadequate, incompetent and aggressive employees keep their jobs.
Bullying is an inefficient way of working, resulting in disenchantment, demoralisation, demotivation, disaffection, and
is a form of abuse, and bullies often go to great lengths to keep their targets quiet, using threats
of disciplinary action, dismissal, and gagging clauses. What bullies fear most is exposure of their inadequacy and being called
publicly to account for their behavior and its consequences. This makes sense when you remember that the purpose of bullying
is to hide inadequacy, and people who bully to hide their inadequacy are often incompetent.
A bully is a person who
- has never learnt to accept responsibility for their behaviour
- wants to enjoy the benefits of living in the adult world, but who is unable and unwilling to accept the responsibilities
that are a prerequisite for being part of the adult world.
- abdicates and denies responsibility for their behaviour and its consequences (abdication and denial are common features
- is unable and unwilling to recognise the effect of their behaviour on others
- does not want to know of any other way of behaving
- is unwilling to recognise that there could be better ways of behaving.
Bullying is obsessive and compulsive; the serial bully has to have someone to bully and appears to be
unable to survive without a current target.
Bullies are seething with resentment, bitterness, hatred and anger, and often have wide-ranging prejudices as a vehicle
for dumping their anger onto others. Bullies are driven by jealousy and envy. Rejection is another powerful motivator
How do bullies select their targets?
The bully selects their target using the following criteria:
- bullies are predatory and opportunistic - you just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time; this is always the
main reason - investigation will reveal a string of predecessors, and you will have a string of successors
- being good at your job, often excelling
- being popular with people more than anything else, the bully fears exposure of his/her inadequacy and incompetence; your
presence, popularity and competence unknowingly and unwittingly fuel that fear
- being the expert and the person to whom others come for advice, either personal or professional (ie you get more attention
than the bully)
- having a well-defined set of values which you are unwilling to compromise
- having a strong sense of integrity (bullies despise integrity, for they have none, and seem compelled to destroy anyone
who has integrity)
- having at least one vulnerability that can be exploited
- being too old or too expensive (usually both)
- refusing to join an established clique
- showing independence of thought or deed
- refusing to become a corporate clone and drone
Jealousy and envy are strong motivators of bullying.
Personal qualities that bullies find irresistible
Targets of bullying usually have these qualities:
- popularity (this stimulates jealousy in the less-than-popular bully)
- competence (this stimulates envy in the less-than-competent bully)
- intelligence and intellect
- honesty and integrity (which bullies despise)
- you're trustworthy, trusting, conscientious, loyal and dependable
- a well-developed integrity which you're unwilling to compromise
- you're always willing to go that extra mile and expect others to do the same
- successful, tenacious, determined, courageous, having fortitude
- a sense of humour, including displays of quick-wittedness
- imaginative, creative, innovative
- idealistic, optimistic, always working for improvement and betterment of self, family, the employer, and the world
- ability to master new skills
- ability to think long term and to see the bigger picture
- sensitivity (this is a constellation of values to be cherished including empathy, concern for others, respect, tolerance
- slow to anger
- helpful, always willing to share knowledge and experience
- giving and selfless
- difficulty saying no
- diligent, industrious
- strong sense of honour
- irrepressible, wanting to tackle and correct injustice wherever you see it
- an inability to value oneself whilst attributing greater importance and validity to other people's opinions of oneself
(eg through tests, exams, appraisals, manager's feedback, etc)
- low propensity to violence (ie you prefer to resolve conflict through dialogue rather than through violence or legal action)
- a strong forgiving streak (which the bully exploits and manipulates to dissuade you from taking grievance and legal action)
- a desire to always think well of others
- being incorruptible, having high moral standards which you are unwilling to compromise
- being unwilling to lower standards
- a strong well-defined set of values which you are unwilling to compromise or abandon
- high expectations of those in authority and a dislike of incompetent people in positions of power who abuse power
- a tendency to self-deprecation, indecisiveness, deference and approval seeking
- low assertiveness
- a need to feel valued
- quick to apologise when accused, even if not guilty (this is a useful technique for defusing an aggressive customer or
potential road rage incident)
- higher-than-average levels of dependency, naivety and guilt
- a strong sense of fair play and a desire to always be reasonable
- high coping skills under stress, especially when the injury to health becomes apparent
- a tendency to internalise anger rather than express it
Myths and misperceptions about school bullying
There's no bullying here
Stand up for yourself
Victims of bullying typically do not retaliate
Bullying toughens you up
Bullying is a rite of passage we all have to go through
Bullying is part of life, you've just got to accept it
There's no law against bullying so it must be OK
People who get bullied are wimps
Only weak people are bullied
Bullies prey on the weak
Bullies are psychologically strong
Victims are unlikeable
Victims lack social skills
Victims blame themselves for their problems
Victims are afraid to go to school
Everyone is capable of bullying
Children who are bullied grow up to be tougher people
Bullies are tough people
Violence on TV makes children violent
Playing violent video games makes children violent
We operate a no blame approach here
We follow the academic model of classifying victims of bullying as passive victims, provocative victims, colluding
victims, and false victims
Children who are bullied are passive
Children who are bullied are shy loners
You're too sensitive
You shouldn't sue for bullying because it prolongs victimhood
Bullies and victims are connected to each other, they are two sides of the same coin. We can think of bullying as
a friendship that can't find a way to work.
Bullies are popular children
Bullies have high self-esteem
You'll never get rid of bullying so let's concentrate on teaching victims how to assert themselves
Stop Bullying Before It Starts
If a child is exhibiting bullying behaviour, the questions to ask are "why does this child have a lot of internal aggression?"
and "why does this child need to displace their internal aggression onto other children?", and "why has this child not learned
how to interact with other children in a non-violent manner?".
Violence prevention Strategies
Office for SAFE Schools
What Schools Can Do
The Best No Bullying Websites
All the no bullying information you wwill ever need is gathered right here.
Case studies provide further reading to accompany the Department's anti-bullying pack, Don't Suffer in Silence and links
to some websites about bullying in schools
Home education for your child
Home schooling and home tuition due to bullying at
Case law and out-of-court settlements
for child bullying and school bullying
Links to sites & organizations tackling child & school bullying