Bullying in workplace is more rampant in Australia than in the schoolyard, according to an expert.
Grade four students across 40 countries were surveyed in the US-based Trends in International and Mathematics and Science Study. It found that Australia was in the worst category in the world.
The study revealed that more than a quarter of all students in Australia had been bullied.
Evelyn Field said that as a country Australia was not setting the best example and a community approach together with new laws against bullying were needed to stamp out the problem.
"What's the use of stopping school bullying when your sports people bully, or your politicians are bullying," News.com.au quoted her, as saying.
"Parents don't really have the skills to teach their children not to be bullies, or not to be targets," she added.
Field said that verbal bullying was the most common form but cyber bullying through emails and text messaging was also becoming a huge problem.
"They are using the Internet instead of a weapon and I see it as criminal," she said.
However, it is not only students who are bullied.
A recent study of Catholic education teachers revealed that 97 per cent had been bullied and up to 50 per cent of public school teachers had been bullied by co-workers.
Field said that bullying is an imbalance of power between the bully and the victim and the best method of defence was for the victim to remain happy and appear unaffected and develop close friendships with three or four people and stick to that group.
She said that when the bully knows they've hurt the person, that's when they continue bullying.