The phenomenon of bullying is an aggressive form of conduct. This conduct includes intentional threatening behaviour, verbal and physical abuse, psychological abuse, abusive relationships and racial and sexual abuse. Although not primarily or necessarily of a criminal nature, many of the forms of conduct also constitute criminal conduct. Although research shows that the criminal justice system can be used both pro-actively and reactively in the management of bullying in schools, it would appear that school principals in South Africa are, for various reasons, unwilling to invoke the use of the criminal justice system in managing bullying. One way of doing this is by lodging a criminal charge against the bully. There are, however, other pro-active and reactive ways in which the criminal justice system can be used to manage bullying, including: by applying restorative justice; by using criminal law as a deterrent; co-operation between the public prosecutor and the probation officer; involving the South African Police Service; or a written warning addressed to the bully and to his or her parents. After analysing the various options the article concludes with a recommendation that the criminal justice system ought to play a role in the management of bullying in schools. Circumspection is required, especially when lodging criminal charges. When the aid of the criminal justice system is invoked, especially in the case of a criminal charge, the following principles should be kept in mind, namely that the law regards juveniles as a group requiring special treatment with regard to the application of the criminal law and the school is an educational institution where learners are taught the standards of conduct of responsible adults in civil society.