School initiatives for the world day against bullying and cyberbullying

There World Day Against Bullying and Cyberbullying was established on February 7, 2017 and since then it has become a highly anticipated appointment for Italian schools and institutions, which have been working for years against this increasingly rampant phenomenon. It is no coincidence that this holiday is celebrated at the same time as the European Safer Internet Dayorganized by the European Commission, scheduled for on February 11th. This is an initiative that aims to highlight the problem by giving it more and more importance, asking schools to present specific teaching proposals on the subject, to say No to bullying sensitizing children, young people and adults of our communities on this issue. The national political forces, jointly with the European Commission and Miurare united in the elaboration of campaigns, programmes, projects and events to be organized in the classrooms, primarily involving students, the true humus of the society of the future.

The commitment of the National Coordination of Human Rights Teachers

If we analyze the processed data from Eures for 2019-2020we can understand the seriousness of the phenomenon: research has in fact found that 9 out of 10 young people have been affected by the phenomenon of bullying and cyberbullying, both as victims and as perpetrators of actions against their friends. Not only that, come on 1,022 pupils of the capital’s second grade high schools, it emerged that the 66.9% have been bullied at least once and that 81% attended to such events, while the most serious data recorded is that the 34% of incidents of this type take place within the school. These are very serious data, which emphasize the spread of one mentality of oppression and disrespect towards one’s peers which must be stemmed with targeted interventions, which necessarily start from a change of mentality. We cannot think of solving this problem with a system of punishments that act as a deterrent. Indeed, what is needed is the joint action of school and social forcesaided and financed by politics, to involve children and families in order to radically transform the mentality of oppression and violence.

Sensitize families and students to the problem of cyberbullying

On this road, the National Coordination of Teachers of the discipline of Human Rights has proposed for this year a series of activities intended to raise awareness of the obvious and hidden dangers of the web, limiting cases of cyberbullying. The activities will involve schools of all levels, which they are also invited to organise specific didactic and extra didactic activities to give maximum echo to the problem. If, in fact, bullying causes great difficulties in the classroom, the phenomenon of cyberbullying is no less, giving rise to such serious psychological and social aftermath that sometimes lead the young person to the extreme act of suicide. What we are talking about, therefore, is a program that really brings one to life reformulation of the mentality of young peopleto teach them in the first place a use the internet the right way, to build relationships, strengthen ties and not to destroy. From the latest analyzes elaborated, in fact, a moral degradation has emerged which can also be attributed to social networks, which act as a refuge for young people since middle school: adolescents who are increasingly interested in the “unreal” life of social networks rather than in real social relationships and own. A phenomenon that leads them to isolate themselves from their peers to live parallel lives where they love to hide their identity, play pranks harmful to their friends and become beasts that devour the dignity of others, destroyers of already fragile existences, of weak personalities who struggle to emerge.

The school initiatives adopted

With these premises, the World Day Against Bullying and Cyberbullying becomes a priority in the classes, a topic to be treated constantly even during the year and in a more incisive way February 7th. But what are the initiatives that can be taken by teachers and which are of real interest to students? The first activity to be carried out is that of a massive prevention especially towards the family, so that they can be established bonding relationships between parents and children, with the freedom for children and young people to speak openly about the fears and doubts that arise. Indeed, in dangerous situations, the most important help is what comes from families that they must be ready to listen, welcome and deal with in the right way. Let’s think of the cases of revenge porn, increasingly frequent among teenagers, or of the hazing situations that are far from obsolete even among the middle school desks.

Develop projects that also involve families

In this context, the first projects developed by the school must involve parents talking to them about different types of bullying and the scenarios that can arise from it. We must not assume that adults are experts, well informed and aware of the phenomenon, many, in fact, they underestimate the problem and they don’t realize the consequences that bullying causes.

Work commitments, inaccurate information or simply the belief that their children could never fall into the enemy’s net leads some families to a superficial approach to the question. This is why it is important that the school educates families inviting them to be more attentive to the behavior of their children, monitoring internet connections, testing the friendships they frequent and possibly inspecting the cell phone, if there are any doubts. In short, the change of mentality can only begin if it is accepted that every boy, regardless of social class, the cultural level of the family of origin and school performance, can become a victim and perpetrator.

Events, demonstrations and reproductions

Despite the good will of principals, teachers and school staff, it is often difficult to develop engaging and truly informative activities of the phenomenon of bullying and cyberbullying. The most frequent problem becomes the planning phase: what to do? What activity is able to shed light on the phenomenon? How can we sensitize young people to be respectful towards their peers and to immediately talk about the hardships they feel? We of we have collected a series of experiences lived in Italian schools such as educational projects and didactic courses which have had particular resonance among young people and which we want to share here. One of the proposed activities that we invite you to organize is that of a extracurricular meeting where there are families, pupils and young people who have experienced bullying and cyberbullying and who have overcome it. In these cases, having experienced such traumatic events on one’s skin remains the best teaching for the assembly that listens and attributes that authority necessary to explain the dynamics of the events in the right way and, obviously, the way out. Alternatively, these meetings can also be organized in the classroom during school hours, to then develop a broad argument with open debates, themes or drawings, in the case of primary school pupils.

Playing themed movies

Excellent idea to reproduce themed movie able to involve young people and for this topic the films are really numerous. It starts from Wonder by J. Palacio, which is the film adaptation of the novel of the same name in Despu├ęs de Lucia, which tells a story of bullying involving the whole family. We also propose Cyberbullieswhich deals in a peculiar and realistic way with the phenomenon of cyberbullying and the damage it can cause, passing through A girl like her which is a real documentary on female bullying and the psychological consequences it unleashes. And, finally, another interesting docu-film on the world of the Web which bears the title of Disconnect. Generally this type of activity manages to involve children in particular because they have an extraordinary capacity for identification with the characters, also thanks to the sharing atmosphere that is created when organizing extra-curricular activities. In the following days, it could be interesting ask the kids for their point of view on the filmdevelop a theme or group work that involves them emotionally, helping them to open up to such complex issues.

School initiatives for the world day against bullying and cyberbullying –