Mt Maria College aims to provide a safe, nurturing, respectful school community, in which all members have a role to play in building positive relationships.

​Every adult at the College recognises that you are entitled to enjoy your education free from discrimination, harassment and abuse. When it occurs, we know that bullying affects everyone, not just the aggressors and their victims. It impacts those who may witness the targeted behaviour (the bystanders) and can negatively affect the atmosphere of a classroom or climate of a school.


Identifying bullying: 

​Bullying behaviours:

Bullying is not that same as:

  • are aggressive, unkind or mean behaviours
  • are repeated behaviours (it must happen multiple times, in an ongoing way to be defined as bullying)
  • happen on purpose
  • must have a power imbalance – which means that people bullying and the people being bullied aren't seen as being 'equal'.


  • being rude – saying or doing something hurtful that wasn't planned or meant to hurt someone, e.g. someone pushing in front of you in the tuckshop line;
  • being mean – doing something hurtful to someone on purpose once or twice, e.g. a friend refusing to play with you one day;
  • conflict – having a disagreement with a friend, e.g. two friends getting into an argument and saying mean things to each other;
  • respectful feedback on behaviours you're doing that aren't ok, e.g. “It's not ok roll your eyes every time they talk about sport.";
  • a friend putting in a 'boundary' e.g. “I don't like it when you keep telling me what to do.";
  • natural consequences in socialising, e.g. a friend not trusting you because you shared their secret.


Types of bullying:

Bullying can be direct (happening to your face) or indirect (happening 'behind your back'), and overt (very obvious and observable) or covert (subtle and hard to prove). There are a few different types of bullying, including:


Cyberbullying - stuff like mean texts, emails, posts, images or videosVerbal bullying – using words to make you feel upset, angry, embarrassed, etc. E.g. teasing, name calling, yelling, etc.
Physical bullying – stuff that hurts or harms your body, e.g. kicking, tripping, hitting. Physical bullying can also include things like damaging your possessionsSocial bullying – stuff done to hurt your reputation. It can be verbal, like spreading rumours or playing mean jokes, or non-verbal like pretending not to hear a person when they speak or leaving them out



Our school community does not tolerate bullying behaviour of any form.


It is always unacceptable.


I'm being bullied – what should I do?

If you find yourself in a conflict situation, either face to face or online, remember the 4 As:

  • Avoidance: Try not to put yourself into stressful situations unnecessarily
  • Awareness: Stay alert and pay attention. What are your options? Who is around that can help you?
  • Assessment: Identify the threat level and your appropriate response.
  • Application: Use the tools and techniques you've been taught and apply the right strategy to reduce the threat level.


These things can help stop bullying:

  • Stay calm – try not to react (people who bully usually want you to get angry or upset);
  • Report it - tell a trustworthy adult and keep talking to them about it until the bullying stops. You can make a report directly to a teacher or counsellor OR email them when the time is right.
  • Get support - bullying can affect your mental health and self-worth - having the support of family, friends, teachers and/or professionals can make a big difference.


My friend is being bullied – what should I do?

Be an upstander. When you see bullying happening to someone else, you become a 'bystander'. You can help stop bulling from happening by:

  • Showing you disapprove, e.g. frowning at a mean joke, shake your head to show you don't think it's right
  • Interrupting the bullying by talking to the person being bullied, e.g. “Hey Jack, there you are!"
  • Giving the person being bullied an excuse to leave the situation.  e.g. “The teacher is looking for you" or, “Hey, can you come help me with something for a minute?"
  • Letting the person being bullied know that you saw the bullying, you don't agree with it and offer support; do this in private/once the person is safe from the situation.  e.g. “I saw what was happening at lunchtime. It is not okay for them to act that way! Are you ok? How can I help?"
  • Reporting it to trustworthy adults, such as a teacher a parent or a counsellor. If possible, report it together - being bullied can be very lonely. Having a friend through a tough time can make a big difference to someone being bullied.


Stand up to the bullying

A great way to respectfully challenge bullying is to say, "We don't do that here."

This is powerful as you're making it really clear that the behaviours that are happening are not ok - and you're doing it respectfully too (leading by example).


Advice and information sourced via​