In the Scottish Government’s policy on bullying, Respect for All bullying is defined as:
“both behaviour and impact; the impact is on a person’s capacity to feel in control of themselves.” It goes on to say that “Bullying takes place in the context of relationships; it is behaviour that can make people feel hurt, threatened, frightened and left out. This behaviour happens face to face and online.”
Bullying can include:
- being called names, teased, put down
- or threatened face to face/online
- heing hit, tripped, pushed or kicked
- having belongings taken or damaged
- being ignored, left out or having rumours spread about you (face-to-face and/or online)
- sending abusive messages, pictures or images on social media, online gaming platforms or phone
- behaviour which makes people feel like they are not in control of themselves or their lives (face-to-face and/or online)
- Being targeted because of who you are or who you are perceived to be (face to face and/or online)
If your child is being bullied and it is affecting their attendance at school or their ability to benefit from their education, then they might require additional support to help them return to school or support them with their learning.
If you think your child is being bullied, you should advise your child to tell their teacher and try to speak to the teacher yourself. It can be helpful to provide any evidence of the bullying if you have any – for example text or social media messages if it is happening online.
If you are not happy with the response, you can ask for a meeting with the head teacher to discuss the issue further. If there is still a problem, you can contact the education authority. All schools should have an anti-bullying policy and you have the right to ask to see your school’s policy. It can be helpful to have a read of the policy and talk to the school if you think that they are not following the correct procedures.