Recognise the Signs
We want people to understand what we mean by bullying, harassment, victimisation and hate crime.
What is Discrimination?
The College expects everyone to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of any aspects of their identity. Additionally, the Equality Act 2010 protects people from being discriminated against because of one or more protected characteristics:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
Discrimination can be:
- Direct–when someone is intentionally treated less favourably than others because of their protected characteristics.
- Indirect–when rules and regulations/arrangements apply to everyone, but put people with protected characteristics at an unfair disadvantage.
- By perception–when someone is perceived to have a protected characteristic and is treated unfairly because of it. This type applies to all protected characteristics except marriage and civil partnership.
- By association–when someone is discriminated against due to their association with someone who has a protected characteristic. This type applies to all protected characteristics except marriage and civil partnership.
Hate motivated misconduct
For the purpose of this policy, hate motivated misconduct refers to instances of behaviour often referred to as hate incidents and hate crimes. Hate incidents are expressions, actions or behaviour which are motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a person’s race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. When the behaviour amounts to a criminal offence, a hate incident is referred to as a hate crime.
Hate incidents/crime can take many forms, for instance:
- Being ignored or excluded from conversation or group activities. Derogatory comments or behaviours; micro-aggressions
- Display of racist/homophobic/Islamophobic/anti-Semitic/disablist/transphobic material. Encouraging others to engage in offensive, prejudiced and hateful behaviour
- Incitement to racial/religious hatred
- Anti-Semitism*, Islamophobia and other forms of religious hatred
- Name calling, insults, ‘banter’ or ‘jokes’
- Verbal abuse
- Unwanted touching and physical assault
*The College defines anti-Semitism as; language or behaviour that displays or suggests hostility to or prejudice against Jewish people.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious, insulting or humiliating behaviour, often associated with the misuse of power or authority, which aims to undermine, humiliate or injure the person on the receiving end. It is different from the way you feel when you are under pressure, or when you make a mistake and are legitimately called to account for this in private.
Examples of bullying are:
- You are singled out for criticism when others have made the same mistake
- Criticism is not constructive and does not help you improve
- Criticism is in public and deliberately humiliating
- You are set targets that are known to be unachievable
- You are physically abused
Not all types of bullying takes place in person, often it can happen behind screen. Cyber bullying is the process of using the internet, social media or mobile phones to intentionally intimidate, harass, offend or cause distress to someone.
Cyber bullying may include:
- sending abusive messages or emails
- name calling online
- spreading rumours online
- teasing online
- targeting a person because of who they are or who they are perceived to be online
- using social media to blackmail someone
- impersonating someone else online
What does Cyber bullying look like?
Bullying using the internet, social media or mobile phone can change the way bullying appears.
- Denigration – This is when someone may send information about another person that is fake, damaging and untrue. Sharing photos of someone for the purpose to ridicule, spreading fake rumours and gossip. The photos can also be altered for the purpose of bullying.
- Flaming – This is when someone is purposely using extreme and offensive language and getting into online arguments and fights. They do this to cause reactions and enjoy the fact it causes someone to get distressed.
- Impersonation – This is when someone will hack into someone’s email or social networking account and use the person’s online identity to send or post vicious or embarrassing material to/about others. They may also create fake accounts to cause hurt and humiliation.
- Outing and Trickery – This is when someone may share personal information about another or trick someone into revealing secrets and forward it to others. They may also do this with private images and videos too.
- Exclusion – This is when others intentionally leave someone out of a group such as group messages, online apps, gaming sites and other online engagement.
What is not bullying:
- Acting assertively
- Requesting someone to amend their behaviour
- Disagreeing with someone’s point of view
- Making a single critical remark about another person (provided it is not classed as racist, sexist etc.)
- A single instance of behaviour which is not repeated.
What is Harassment?
Harassment is unwanted conduct that violates your dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for you, having regard to all the circumstances including your perception of the conduct. The behaviour may be intentional which is obvious or violent but it can also be unintentional or subtle and insidious.
Examples of harassment are:
- Sexual harassment: unwelcome comments, jokes, innuendo, teasing and verbal abuse; displaying sexually suggestive material; unwelcome comments on your dress, appearance or marital status; condemnation or ridicule of you because of your sexual orientation; unwelcome physical contact.
- Racial harassment: conduct or comments based on race (including anti-Semitic behaviour*), colour or ethnicity which is offensive to you (or others); derogatory remarks or jokes; display of racially offensive material or graffiti; deliberate isolation.
- Personal harassment: inappropriate comments about your disability, socio-economic group, sexual orientation, religion or any other form of personal victimisation.
- Cyber Harassment – This is the act of sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages and being abusive. Nasty or humiliating comments on posts, photos and videos on social media sites, chat rooms and gaming sites.
- Cyber Stalking – This is the act of repeatedly sending messages that include threats of harm, harassment, intimidating messages, or engaging in other online activities that make a person afraid for their safety. The actions may be illegal too depending on what they are doing.
* Defined by the College in accordance with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism as ‘a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities’.
What is Victimisation?
Victimisation is treating you (or others) less favourably than other people because you have, in good faith, complained that someone has been bullying or harassing you or someone else, or where you have supported someone else who has made a complaint. This includes isolating you (or someone else) or giving you more/worse work because you have made a complaint.