Bullying is first and foremost a moral issue. Curiously enough, although it is broadly understood that bullying is essentially an abuse of power, few consider the implications of such a belief. We do not, as a rule, go on to think about how power should be used and what may constitute its wrong use.
An old tradition tells us that 'we should do unto others as we would they do unto us' Resolutely applied this would spell the end of bullying. And not only in our so-called Judeo Christian culture. Almost identical injunctions can be found in the scriptures espoused by Hindus, Taoists and Jainists and by the followers of Confucius and Mohammed.
As is well known, the Law and Morality overlap: the former owes its force and legitimacy to the latter. However, bullying per se is rarely described as illegal, except for rhetorical purposes. In fact, you will find no legal definition of bullying, although many actions or behaviours that people might call bullying are subject to prosecution, such as physical assaults, theft and stalking.
The law can be, and has been invoked by children or - on their behalf - parents when it is believed that the school has not taken reasonable steps to prevent or stop a student from being bullied and seriously harmed. Numerous cases have now been reported of schools having to face charges of negligence when it has been thought that schools have not acted appropriately. Very large sums have had to be paid out by schools or Departments of Education.
These implications are now clear