School bullying and prevention
School bullying is not a new phenomenon: it has been around for generations, having taken various forms. In 1999 Tim Fields a British anti-bullying activist, described the phenomenon as “a pathological need to demonstrate aggression that is achieved through a demonstration of inadequacy (social, personal, interpersonal, behavioural, professional),a deficiency displayed over others through control and submission (criticism, exclusion, isolation, etc). Intimidation is sustained by a disclaimer of responsibility (denial, intercourse, pretence of victimization) and is perpetuated by a climate of fear, ignorance, indifference, silence, denial, mistrust, cheating, exile, tolerance & reward of the intimidator”
Ιn the recent years child protection specialists and children's rights have begun to recognize the emotional, psychological and physical harm that can be caused by school bullying. Although there has been a great deal of effort to tackle school bulling in many countries, people think that the problem focuses only on school on school environments and that it does not have long term consequences for the victim or the intimidator.
Programs have been implemented to combat intimidation, but most have focused on one of the emerging issues and have not produced a uniform European solution to the problem and its various forms.
The aim of the program is to find out whether there are common points between Member States where intimidation occurs between both victims and bullers. Through bulling research collaborators want to evaluate the knowledge base of the issue of intimidation in various cases and raise awareness among target groups: children, young people, parents and teachers.
Including a public campaign, the final phase of the program will raise public awareness of the emotional, psychological, and physical costs of bullying and encourage a zero tolerance policy towards the social problem.
Although many Member States have created forums dealing with bullying, the aim of this programme is to create a national reference for each Member State a single area for bullying for the public, for parents and teachers, but especially for children. Thus, the programme will give children a safe place in which they could learn about bullying, to talk confidentially with experts on the issue, about what is happening, how to deal with it, and through electronic applications learn how to protect themselves from intimidation.
The aim of the project is to create a single response to the recording and management of school bullying in all of its forms and a European platform to inform children, parents, teachers and anyone concerned about the problem. Eventually, the audience of the of the 6 participating countries will know where they can get information about school bullying while having reliable help available in all languages of the above countries via telephone lines or over the internet.
School bullying, although is traditionally seen as a bahaviour encountered between children and usually in school environments is currently displaying new forms such as cyber bullying, which is becoming increasingly widespread.
Project actions include:
The implementation at European level covering the 6 countries of the company scheme. The survey questionnaire is addressed to 18,000 secondary school students and will be filled in electronically through the project website. Creation of a website that will act as a National Reporting Point for the problem of School Bullying to provide broad and stable information to all concerned and to provide direct advice to students, educators and parents through specialized help lines and other interactive ways of communication. Creation of an Interactive Educational Tool with the aim of upgrading the problem management processes in the school environment with the direct involvement of students Designing and implementing a European Campaign against school bullying. The campaign will create information material, awareness-raising material, and concerted action will be taken in all six countries to establish the European Day Against School Violence. The Company The European Campaign Against School Intimidation will unite 6 states from all over Europe and create a national reference point for school bullying in every participating country for all those who are victims, perpetrators or somehow related to school bullying.
Members of the company's project are the following NGOs: Greece: Smile of the Child - Partner Partner Italy: SOS II Telefono Azzuro, Bulgaria: Nadjia Center Foundation, Estonian: Estonian Mental Health Society, Latvia: Children and Youth Trust Phone, Lithuania: Child Line Lithuania. The bodies that make up the partnership are active in preventing and tackling school bullying in all its possible forms and have worked with schools, parents and children in their own countries. Smile of the Child, Project Coordinator, receives thousands of calls each year from children and parents about how to manage the issue of school bullying. The psychologists and social workers of the organization, in the framework of a program implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, are in schools all over Greece and talk to parents, teachers and pupils about school bullying. They have also been summoned by the Hellenic Police Electronic Crime Investigation Unit to provide counseling support to children who are victims of cyber bullying, and the media is invited to provide information on school bullying. The national partners of the program in Bulgaria, Estonia, Italy, Latvia and Lithuania have implemented curricular programs to prevent school bullying in their countries and have developed specific know-how in the field. All partners maintain Children's Help Lines and provide counseling support to parents, children and teachers who have had to face school bullying. All partners are members of the Child Helplines International Organization (CHI) and have collaborated in European programs.
From the middle of the school year 2013-14 an Observatory for the Prevention of School Violence has been set up which, under the responsibility of the Regional Education Directorates, and it has been training teachers who will be responsible for violence and school bullying in school units. Each school acquires an electronic code and the responsible professor reports the emerging incidents or the good practices developed to avoid them. In direct co-operation with other organizations such as The Smile of the Child and, once judged as a need, solutions are proposed and support is provided to students who have fallen victims of bullying. It is important to understand that the solution to the problem is primarily about the school itself, but it always depends on its seriousness, the cooperation and the coordination of the competent bodies in co-operation with the school unit.
School Bullying in Denmark