Is Social Exclusion Bullying?

February 23, 2017

Social Exclusion is now recognized as a sub group of bullying. This means that idea of excluding someone repeatedly, aggressively and on purpose with the intent to cause emotional harm to them, is right up there with verbal, physical and cyber bullying. Social exclusion is bullying when a child feels alone or left out because of the manipulation of their peer relationships and social status. Social Exclusion is not bullying when say, people make new friends and distance themselves from old friends. That old friend may feel as though they are being “socially excluded” but if there is no aggressive intention to cause harm, they are not being bullied. There is a difference and for students, it is not always easy to tell the difference.

Examples of Social Exclusion:

  • Leaving someone out on purpose when you know they will be hurt by your actions.
  • Telling other students not to be friends with someone.
  • Embarrassing someone in public when someone tries to approach the group.

So here are a few ways that you can help put a stop to social exclusion in your classroom.

  • Facilitate friendships with other students that may have similar interests.
  • Provide increased adult supervision during unstructured time such as during recess, in the cafeteria and on the bus.
  • Provide team “jobs” for the students to get to know one another.
  • Plan a “Mix It Up” Day at lunch where all students get to know others.
  • Role play different scenarios with students and discuss how students may feel if it was happening to them.
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All comments (1)
  • a.
    August 1, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Social exclusion absolutely is bullying, and I can personally say it's one of the most painful things I've ever experienced. It went on for three […] Read MoreSocial exclusion absolutely is bullying, and I can personally say it's one of the most painful things I've ever experienced. It went on for three years and sent me into a deep depression. There is nothing more devastating than sitting beside people you thought were your best friends, to be given the cold shoulder - or to watch them turn and walk the other way as they spot you coming down the corridor. I remember the pain as if it were yesterday, even 10 years later. It's so easy to brush this off for kids but it's what their life is like every day. I'm lucky that I had the resilience I did, or I might not be here after what I went through. Please don't fail to act on exclusion bullying. Read Less


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