The secondary teachers' union says telling schools to get tough on bullying is not going to solve the problem.
Prime Minister John Key has asked Education Minister Anne Tolley to write to all school boards of trustees outlining the Government's expectation of an improvement.
Footage showing a teenage girl giving another girl a severe beating was shown on television news over the weekend.
The president of the Post Primary Teachers Association, Robin Duff, says it is terrifying that it takes that kind of means to make the Prime Minister aware of how bad the situation is.
He says bullying will not be curtailed by writing to boards telling them something they already know.
Mr Duff says schools are already required to provide a safe environment, and it has been pretty clear for some time that that's not the case.