Common, clearly understood definitions of bullying, sexual harassment and racial discrimination are the cornerstone of any successful program. Definitions and consequences of engaging in these problem behaviours should be posted in common areas and classrooms and reviewed regularly. Students must be engaged in this process. The definitions found below have been tested out on large student populations in many countries. With the exception of the sexual harassment definition, they should be used for grades four and up. Due to developmental reasons, the definition of sexual harassment should only be used for those in grades eight and higher. The definitions found below are based upon the West Vancouver School District Safe School Surveys1 and the World Health Organization’s definitions of bullying in the international Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children surveys.2
To harass someone is to bother, make fun of, trouble or attack them, and this is done repeatedly. Someone who harasses wants to hurt the other person (it’s not an accident), and does or says the same things over and over again. There are three main types of harassment:
1 Hymel, White and Ishiyama, 2003.
2 WHO, 2004.