The author of the project "20 Ideas for the Development of Russia" Dmitry Davydov believes that bullying can be overcome, but for this it is necessary to combine the efforts of the state, teachers, parents and schoolchildren themselves, providing legislative support. And what exactly to do, world experience suggests.
There have always been conflicts between children and at all times. In an elite English boarding school, a student could be beaten by his stronger or older comrades, as in a rural school in tropical Africa. However, bullying is not a one-time skirmish, but harassment, intimidation, long-term and systematic bullying of one person or group over an adult or a child. It is important to understand that we are talking about the intentional infliction of psychological and physical harm.
Hence the more than deplorable results of bullying - many people, having experienced systematic humiliation in childhood, bear this mental trauma throughout their lives. Some lose self-esteem and self-confidence, others become social phobes and respond to any actions of others with immoderate aggression and violence, as if avenging past insults.
Every third child in Russia faced bullying at school, while every tenth child did not tell anyone about it. Another 10% of the guys participated in bullying as aggressors or witnesses. Such data at the end of 2020 resulted in All-Russian Popular Front.
Agency "Mikhailov and Partners. Analytics" (data are given in the publication "Pedagogical Council") revealed even more frightening indicators:
But one of the most sensational conclusions was made by HSE sociologists. It turned out that in percentage terms, the victims of bullying are primarily teachers in Russian schools!
According to a 2018 HSE study, at least 70% of Russian teachers themselves experienced some kind of bullying: they were teased, nicknamed them, ignored, discussed their personal lives, showed contempt with their looks or gestures, children deliberately and systematically violated discipline in the lessons and refused fulfill the requirements of teachers. Every second teacher received threats from students. A third - heard or received statements of an intimate nature in their address. And 42% of teachers faced cyberbullying.
"The fight against bullying in Russia is still carried out only at the initiative of individual teachers, schools and organizations." - notes the teacher and author of the special blog Where are my children Irina Shatrova.
"Teachers quite often consider bullying as typical behavior in a group that does not harm children. They confuse it with conflicts. They do not consider bullying, social exclusion, rejection, ignoring bullying. Confidently identifying only physical bullying, educators often do not know how to reduce the level aggression, and rely on their own everyday experience, and not on professional knowledge", - Rimma Chirkina, head of the Department of Legal Psychology and Law at Moscow State Psychological and Pedagogical University, commented on the results of the study.
It is important to note that bullying is by no means a specific Russian phenomenon. And it is common both in rich countries and in the "third" world. However, in countries where there is no systemic fight against this evil, the figures are two to three times higher. Hence the conclusion: it is possible and necessary to fight bullying!
Since 1979, Sweden has banned child abuse, including psychological abuse. It is impossible to offend children, even if the authoritarian order of upbringing corresponds to your religious views or national traditions.
Also in Sweden there are laws “On Education” and “On the Prohibition of Discrimination”, according to which the management of educational institutions must ensure that the child will be respected and will not be oppressed or poisoned. There is even a special School Inspectorate, which keeps track of all complaints and incidents. Note that it also receives complaints about the bad behavior of students, and not just about harassment or incorrectness of teachers.
Since 2006, Sweden has had a Children's Ombudsman who deals exclusively with issues of discrimination and is part of the School Inspectorate.
Georgia was the first state in the United States to legislate against bullying in 1999. They not only follow the trends, but also prohibit the use of gadgets to oppress other guys.
In Nevada, which, like some other states, has taken care of the creation of anti-bullying legislation, a person is criminally responsible for threatening and intimidating a child. In states where there are no separate laws of their own, cases of bullying are held as a violation of civil rights.
In Japan, in 2013, after the public was stirred up by dissatisfaction with another child suicide - the child was poisoned in front of adults, but no one helped him - was adopted Bullying Prevention Development Act. According to the document, each school must develop a policy to prevent bullying, create a structure that will identify, prevent and resolve conflicts.
Dmitry Davydov in the project "20 Ideas for the Development of Russia" cites the experience of Australia as an example.
There, at the legislative level, an anti-bullying strategy has been adopted. The Department of Education is responsible for the implementation of the strategy, although in practice the involvement of related departments is noticeable, as well as the active role played directly by the students themselves and their parents. The strategy was adopted in 2019 and measures have been implemented for 3 years to create conditions for the prevention and minimization of bullying in schools.
One of the measures is to create a group of activists in each school who, at regular meetings, think together about how to reduce the level of bullying in their school. Schoolchildren study the topic of bullying in general, consider cases of bullying in their school, and everyone offers their own options for solving the problem. All this happens under the supervision of teachers and psychologists. This group of activists also monitors newly emerging cases of bullying and tries to resolve each conflict.
To monitor bullying in schools, a regular survey is conducted, in which all students and teachers take part. By increasing the general level of awareness among schoolchildren about the problem of bullying, as well as by the fact that schoolchildren themselves are involved in the identification of new cases of bullying, Australia claims to reduce the number of such cases. There are no general figures yet, since the program is still at the implementation stage, but there is a positive trend.
The positive experience of other countries has led to the formulation of basic requirements for combating bullying.
It is necessary to start with the development and consolidation at the legislative level of the definition of harassment and bullying. It is also worth creating and approving a regulatory framework that will regulate the actions of schools, parents and children to prevent and prevent bullying. This step will allow introducing the concept of bullying into the legal field and rely on it in the future when adopting new programs or laws.
In addition to the regulatory framework, it is necessary to draw up and adopt a set of rules that will regulate:
- Possible actions for employees of public kindergartens, schools and training centers to prevent discrimination, harassment and victimization in the school.
- Compulsory standards of conduct for all employees of public kindergartens, schools and training centers, including measures to prevent and prevent all forms of bullying among students.
- Involving children in the joint fight against bullying in their schools by creating voluntary groups of activists.
- The range of administrative and disciplinary measures that can be applied to the offender or the person who committed the act of bullying. These actions must be proportionate to the nature and gravity of the offense committed. Such actions may include written reprimands, community service, suspension or expulsion, as the case may be.
In addition to all of the above, we propose to take measures to educate teachers, parents and children on topics related to bullying and bullying. only by realizing the problem, you can deal with it. Measures may include mandatory regular bullying classes in schools, increasing the level of psychological preparation of teachers, as well as preventive conversations and trainings with parents.
For monitoring, we suggest organizing regular surveys of children in order to identify victims of bullying or violence, since, as a rule, victims of violence are not able to seek help on their own. In addition to the questionnaire, each school should have a qualified psychologist so that children can anonymously or personally talk about their problems in interaction with teachers, parents or other students and receive prompt psychological support. This will allow monitoring the dynamics of bullying in schools and adjusting the measures taken.
The proposed measures, the author is sure, will enable the state to lay the foundation for building healthy relationships in the school environment, and as a result, in society as a whole, at minimal cost. We specifically focus on the educational side of the issue, because it has not yet been touched upon at the highest level and needs normative and organizational elaboration and support.