Do you know what bullying is?
Bullying is when you make fun of others, call them names, humiliate, exclude or threaten to hurt them, whether it’s in person, online, by text or by phone, or when you hit or beat them. It’s not teasing or a joke that’s meant to make the person laugh. It’s not a spat between friends that’s over and soon forgotten. It’s something that keeps on happening, day after day. Victims of bullying feel weak and helpless. When you bully someone, you make them feel unhappy, troubled. Sometimes victims feel like they’re all alone.
You should NEVER intimidate anyone. You can also be an ordinary hero. As an individual, you are responsible for:
- treating others with respect
- being fair to others
- respecting someone when they say “no”
- controlling your anger
- letting others make their own decisions
- making everyone feel welcomed and part of the gang
- respecting your friend’s limits
- calling out bad behaviour inflicted on others
- getting help if something seems unacceptable
If you find it difficult to control your anger and aggressive behaviour towards other students or adults, ask someone for help (psychologist, guidance counselor, social worker, teaching staff).
By asking for help you can also become an ordinary hero.
What consequences can a bully face?
All forms of bullying and violence are unacceptable. Consequences generally depend on the severity of the incident(s) and the school’s code of conduct (ex.: removal from the classroom, making amends with the victim, internal or external suspension, expulsion from school, or even the school board).
Bullying and cyberbullying may also fall under the Criminal Code. Using violence or threatening violence with the intention of forcing another person to do or not do something is a criminal act. Repeatedly communicating with someone in such a way as to make that person fear for his or her safety is a criminal act. Publishing or broadcasting false information about someone or information that could damage that person’s reputation, expose him or her to hatred, scorn or ridicule may also constitute a criminal act.
When it spreads hate or discrimination based on national or ethnic origins, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, family situation and physical or mental handicaps, cyberbullying also violates the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. People found guilty of bullying or cyberbullying may face judicial sanctions.
Did you know that the bill aiming to prevent and stop bullying and violence in schools has been adopted into law? Click here to find out more.