Abjection is the process of separating an individual from the group through expressions of disgust and loathing.


Agency is the individual's sense of control they have over what happens to them and their life, and their ability to make choices.


Aggression is words or actions (both overt and covert) that are directed towards another and intended to harm, distress, coerce or cause fear.

Anti-social behaviours

Anti-social behaviours include getting into fights, bullying, physical assault, truanting, stealing, vandalism, persistently lying, using illegal drugs and misusing alcohol.


Approach is the generic term used throughout this site to include frameworks, strategies, resources and programs.



Bullying is an ongoing misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that intends to cause physical, social and/or psychological harm. 


A bystander is someone who sees or knows about bullying, harassment or violence that is happening to someone else.


Climate (school)

School climate is the milieu created by interactions among and between adults and students, as well as individuals' beliefs and attitudes about the school and about students.


Conflict is a mutual disagreement, argument or dispute between people where no-one has a significant power advantage and both feel equally aggrieved.

Conflict resolution

Conflict resolution is a way to find a peaceful solution to a disagreement. When conflict arises, often the best course of action is negotiation to resolve the disagreement.

Contempt production

Contempt production is the process of expressing extreme dislike or disgust toward a student and their behaviour. It often increases the exclusion of that student.

Covert bullying

Covert bullying is a type of subtle social or verbal bullying, hidden from those not directly involved. It harms another's social reputation, relationships and self-esteem.


Cyberbullying is an alternative label for online bullying, and describes bullying carried out through the internet and mobile devices.


Cybersafety refers to both a) online behaviours that are safe, respectful and responsible, as well as b) strategies to reduce risks online, e.g. using high privacy settings.


Dignity production

Dignity production is the process of expressing positive regard for a student or students which results in greater inclusion and positive emotions.


Discrimination is the outcome of less favourable treatment because of identity, race, culture, ethnicity, religion, physical characteristics, gender or sexual orientation.


Diversity is the concept that each individual is unique and has individual differences. These differences can be related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.



Empathy is the ability to identify and share the feeling of another.

Empirical research

Empirical research is experimentation or direct observation that produces evidence.


Evaluation is a structured, staged process of identifying, collecting and considering information to determine whether a program or approach is effective.


Evidence is the available body of facts and information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid. 


Evidence-informed (for schools) means that an approach is based on previous, relevant research, without specific research into that approach in a school setting.


Evidence-based (for schools) means that an approach has been found to be effective through research in a number of school settings.


Fidelity of implementation

Fidelity of implementation (sometimes called program fidelity) is how closely a school adheres to the way an approach was designed to be implemented. It refers to all aspects of the approach including content, number and frequency of sessions, the delivery and the participants.


Frameworks are structured guides for planning, implementing activities and monitoring change. Frameworks do not provide the actual content or activities (strategies, resources or programs) but combine overall structural integrity with local flexibility.



Harassment is behaviour that targets an individual or group due to their identity; race; culture or ethnic origin; religion; physical characteristics; gender; sexual orientation;


Harm is physical or psychological damage or injury; something that causes someone or something to be hurt, broken, made less valuable, reputable or successful, etc.

Homophobic bullying

Homophobic bullying includes repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviours directed at students because they identify as or are perceived to be homosexual.


Inclusion/inclusive education

Inclusion, when referring to inclusive education, means that all students attend and engage in age-appropriate, regular classes and are supported to learn, contribute and participate in all aspects of the life of the school.



LGBTIQA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans/transgender, Intersex, Queer/questioning, and Asexual “ and is one of many acronyms that represent common sexual and gender identities in the community. The + symbol is used to show that there are many more ways to identify as gender and/or sexually diverse. There are many variations of this acronym.


Method of shared concern

The method of shared concern is a response to bullying involving structured interviews of those who are suspected of bullying other students to resolve the situation.

Moral disengagement

Moral disengagement is a set of social and cognitive processes through which people can disengage from actions which are inhumane or hurtful toward other people.

Moral distress

Moral distress is the painful feeling or discomfort that occurs when a person is aware of the appropriate action but cannot carry out that action because of situational factors.


Online bullying

Online bullying is bullying carried out through the internet or mobile devices. Online bullying is also sometimes called cyberbullying.

Online hate sites

Online hate sites are those that have been established specifically for insulting and contemptuous remarks or images of a nominated person.


Personal resources

Personal resources are the attitudes and skills that a person has to use in difficult situations, including bullying. Personal resources include positive self-belief, perception of value, confidence about ability to deal with problems and strategies to minimise harm and recover.

Positive approaches

Positive approaches are those that stress prevention and support and that focus more on enabling positive student behaviour than on punishment for student misbehaviour.

Positive Behaviour for Learning

Postive Behaviour for Learning (PBL), previously known as school-wide positive behaviour support (SWPBS) is a whole school approach to creating safe and supportive environments.

Positive behaviour support

Positive behaviour support (PBS) is an approach focused on learning environments; teaching pro-social skills; and providing positive consequences for pro-social behaviour.

Power imbalance

Power imbalance is a situation where one person or group has a significant advantage over another that enables them to coerce or mistreat another for their own ends.


Prejudice is an opinion or feeling of dislike directed at an individual or a group because of some characteristic (race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies).


A program is a plan of action or schedule of activities to be followed in order to accomplish a specified goal. A program manual or instructions will detail what work is to be done, by whom, when, and what strategies or resources will be used.

Pro-social values

Pro-social values are those which emphasise others, including: respect, acceptance of diversity, honesty, fairness, friendliness, inclusion, cooperation and responsibility.

Protective interrupting

Protective interrupting is a process of stopping a person speaking by interrupting them, used to protect the person from the consequences of revealing inappropriate personal information in front of others.

Psychological bullying

Psychological bullying is an out of date term which originally referred to non-physical and usually covert behaviours in bullying aimed at creating fear. It is more appropriate to talk about psychological harm than psychological bullying.

Punitive approach

A punitive approach is the use of negative consequences such as detention, suspension and expulsion for aggressive, violent or bullying behaviour.


Relational bullying

Relational bullying, also called social bullying, is repeatedly ostracising others or convincing peers to reject another person, as well as sharing rumours or private information.


Resilience is the ability to return to (almost) the same level of wellbeing and to continue to thrive despite encountering negative events, difficult situations, challenges or adversity.

Respectful relationships

Respectful relationships is a strategy for preventing partner and family violence through educating people to behave in positive and respectful ways in intimate relationships.

Restorative practices

Restorative practices is a range of strategies which focus on restoring relationships, repairing harm and learning perspective-taking and social responsibility.


School climate

School climate is the milieu created by interactions among and between adults and students, as well as individuals' beliefs and attitudes about the school and about students.

School community

The school community is the students, school staff (teachers, administrators, other staff and volunteers), parents and carers, and others with an interest in the school.

School connectedness

School connectedness is the belief by students that adults in the school care about their learning as well as about them as individuals.

School culture

School culture is the set of basic assumptions, beliefs and practices that are shared by the members of a school community which mold how members view the school.

Social-emotional learning

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an approach where students learn skills such as: cooperation, managing conflict, making friends, coping and being resilient, recognising and managing their own feelings and being empathic.

Social exclusion anxiety

Social exclusion anxiety is the feeling of anxiety associated with the need to belong to a group, experienced when there is a perceived threat to that person's membership.

Student voice

Student voice is the encouragement of young people's active participation in shared decision making and consequent actions.

Student wellbeing

Student wellbeing is a student's level of satisfaction with the quality of their life at school. Optimal wellbeing is characterised by positive feelings and attitudes, positive relationships with other students and teachers, resilience, and satisfaction with self and learning experiences at school.

Support group approach

The support group approach is an approach involving establishing a support group with the student being bullied. The support group consists of other students involved in the bullying (but who are not confronted or blamed) as well as students who tend to be kind and empathic.

School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support

School-wide positive behaviour support (SWPBS) is now called Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL). PBL is a whole school approach to creating safe and supportive environments.


System (as used on this site) is the complex sets of individuals, groups, structures and organisations. Systems involve interdependent sets of cultural and structural elements thought of as a whole.


Traditional bullying

Traditional bullying is a term with various meanings. It was originally used to describe direct, physical bullying, to connect it particularly with social bullying. More recently, it has been used to emphasise the difference between bullying in person and online. There is no clear meaning for this term and it is not recommended for use.


Tolerance is the willingness to accept the existence of opinions, behaviour and practices that conflict or differ from one's own.



An Upstander is someone who takes action against bullying behaviour. When an Upstander sees someone being bullied, they do something about it. They help to stop the bullying from happening, or they support the person who's being bullied.



Violence is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against another person(s) that results in psychological harm, injury or in some cases death.


Whole-school approach

A whole-school approach is one which focuses on positive partnerships and assumes that all members of the school community have a significant role to play.

Last updated 01 October 2020