BULLYING: A SCOURGE OF THE CURRENT SOCIETY
Bullying is a problem that occurs in every country in the world. Bullying has serious consequences for those affected and many different institutions, media and agencies are trying to end this scourge. But what is bullying?
Bullying is the verbal or physical intimidation by one or several classmates to another student in the class. The victim receives continuous harassment of emotional and/or physical abuse and often feels insecure, helpless and alone.
TYPES OF BULLYING
As mentioned above, assault can be physical, for example, kicking, shoving or hitting, as well as verbal abuse, threats, discrimination or name calling. But with new technologies bullying is not only present in the classroom, but extends beyond. It is what is known as ‘cyberbullying’. In this case intimidation and harassment occur through digital media. This type of case is more difficult to control since it allows the perpetrator to remain anonymous.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR CHILD IS A VICTIM OF CYBERBULLYING
Many parents are anxious to know if their children suffer from this problem, unfortunately, out of fear or shame, children do not always tell their parents what is happening.
If you are concerned about bullying or cyberbullying, there are some key signs such as….
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Symptoms such as irritability, restlessness, anxiety, depression, etc.
- Eating Disorders
- Lower academic performance
STATISTICS ON BULLYING IN SPAIN
As reflected on the EcoDiario website, the anti-bullying hotline (900018018) from the Ministry of Culture and Sports has received 5,552 calls in 2016, of which 1,955 have been identified as possible cases of bullying.
This is only data collected by this one service. However, there are others provided by the NGO “Save The Children” that are published in El País and which are also worrying, since 9.3% of students suffer some form of harassment in Spain. In some autonomous communities such as Murcia or Andalusia the percentage rises to more than 12%.
This report also explains that the main explanation that bullies give when asked about their behavior and, in most cases, this excuse is: “I do not know.” This is significant, as it is an underlying issue in education, say psychologists.
HOW TO PREVENT BULLYING IN SCHOOL
Given this worrisome data, different groups and institutions are trying to raise awareness and prevention of bullying. Many schools are also implementing different methods to prevent bullying.
One method that has proven to be effective in preventing bullying is KiVa. This methodology, originating in Finland has made it possible to reduce harassment in Finnish schools considerably. The curious thing about this method is that it focuses on the witnesses of the harassment, who often see and detect bullying, but do nothing. By not acting on witnessing this harassment, they reinforce the act of bullying. Thanks to this method, witnesses become aware of acting on and avoiding harassment. They are more empathetic to the victim and do not sit idly by in certain violent or unpleasant situations. On the other hand, there are also certain guidelines that parents and teachers must follow if they see that their children or students are the victims of bullying.
In the case of parents, they should note if their children are experiencing mood swings or ask about their relationships at school. If you perceive that there are indications or possibilities that your child is suffering from bullying, the first step is to speak with the teacher immediately, in addition to protecting the child from certain situations. The important thing is to make them feel safe.
The role of the teacher is also important because it must detect and deal with the situation of harassment in the classroom. To do so, one must be aware of changes in student performance, prevent teasing and insults in class, treat all students equally to avoid jealousy and observe the type of social relationships that exist in case one remains isolated.
We at TutorAsap specialize in School reinforcement classes and take all these aspects into account. We say no to all forms of harassment!