Skip to main content

Understanding Student Interactions

There are many types of student interactions and not all unpleasant interactions between students should be classified as bullying. Vancouver School District staff have prepared a very useful information sheet to help determine if behaviour is bullying or if it resembles more closely instances of peer conflict or mean behaviour. Bullying is an imbalance of power with a repeated intention of harm. 

Bullying vs Peer Conflict vs Mean Behaviour (PDF)

Here are some things you should do if you think you are being bullied:

  • Write down what happened. Record the date, time, and as many details as you can about the situation. Ask yourself these questions:
    • Who was there? Make a special note of the bully, any other participants, and any witnesses that were around.
    • What did they say to you?
    • Did they physically hurt you?
    • How did it make you feel?
    • Where and when did it take place?
    • What did you do / how did you respond?
  • Tell your parents or another trusted adult (like your favourite teacher or coach) what happened, as soon as possible. They can support you. If you don’t get the support you need from them, tell someone else.
  • If you don’t feel comfortable telling someone, then report it immediately using the anonymous online reporting tool.
  • Report the bullying or harassment every time, until you get help or until it stops.
  • Look to your friends for support – but don’t ask them to fight your bully, or plan any acts of revenge. You can’t address bullying with violence.
  • If it is safe to do so, stand up for yourself by telling the person who is bullying or harassing you to stop it.
  • Stick close to your friends and avoid being alone – your bully might be less likely to target you in a group.
  • Make a formal complaint to the principal, your district's safe school coordinator, or someone else in authority (i.e. your coach, club leader, etc. if it’s not a school-related incident). Find out what is going to happen – you want to make sure they are going to resolve your complaint.
  • If you’re feeling scared, angry, confused, etc. don’t be afraid to ask for counselling or other support. This is normal.

Anonymous report bullying tool

The provincial Ministry of Education's "ERASE Bullying" initiative features a website with very helpful and informative information for both students and parents on the issue
of bullying. Go to

 Stop a Bully Canada


Back to top