“Sudaca of shit, Colombian bitch, you’re not going to have friends.” So were some of the racist insults that little Saray received from her classmates, who also physically assaulted him, pulling his hair and wetting his clothes. The situation of this 10-year-old girl dates back to last January, when she arrived at the Agustín Gericó center in Zaragoza to finish the second part of a course that she would end up repeating. However, with her new classmates, the bullying was going to persist. Thus, on her second day of class she tried to take her own life without success.
Saray’s family has acknowledged in statements that next Monday they will file a complaint at the police station. This is an unusual performance, of the 11,000 minors who suffer bullying in Spain, only 1,054 of the cases are reported, according to data from the National Police Corps, the Civil Guard and the Local Police Forces. This is the latest official statistic that is known as a result of the question posed by the socialist deputy Antonio Hurtado in 2017, the first year in which Spain exceeded a thousand victims of bullying for the first time.
“One in four children were not aware that they were participating in a case of bullying.” The speaker is Benjamín Ballesteros, psychologist and director of ANAR Foundation Programs. Together with the Mutua Madrileña Foundation, he has just published the IV Report on bullying, La Opinion de los Estudiantes, an annual study. The data, which focuses on both students and teachers, shows that the perception of ‘bullying’ varies depending on whether you are sitting at the desk or you are the one who teaches the class.
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Other conclusions drawn from the study is that school bullying is changing since the stoppage of schools in the pandemic. Thus, punches and kicks went from 38% to 31.8% in the current study. In this sense, Ballesteros highlights the role of the Covid reinforcement teachers, with whom the ratio of teachers per student increased.
what are the profiles
Ballesteros is forceful in assuring that “the profile of the victim does not exist.” According to the figures of the study in which he has participated, he concludes that in reality “everyone can be a victim of bullying“, because aggression ranges from the physical aspect to getting good grades. Even so, there are longitudinal studies that point to poor relationship skills in the case of boys. For its part, the low self-control of girls is part of the explanatory percentage of being a victim of bullying, both physically and online Girls are worse off: 10.6% have suffered bullying (compared to 8% of boys), and 8.5% cyberbullying (5.3% of boys).
On the other hand, the figure of the aggressor is clearer, according to the teachers themselves. They are seen as people with a feeling of superiority for 76.7% and with a lack of social skills for 73.5%. In addition, the most frequent reason for bullies in primary education is psychological problems such as insecurity, low self-esteem or fear of rejection. This is why Ballesteros warns that the aggressor must also be taken into account.
When we talk about a case of bullying, we usually think of victim and aggressor; however, there is also another figure, that of the spectator. “All students must be trained so that they are aware that reporting a case of bullying is not for snitches, but for brave people,” says Ballesteros. And it is that 24.4% of the students surveyed perceive that there is bullying in their class. However, the ANAR Foundation and the Mutua Madrileña Foundation point out that 45.4% of the boys consider that their teacher does nothing.
For its part, the type of aggression that occurs most in schools is “of a psychological nature”, which has also increased by 10% compared to pre-pandemic levels. The feeling that can be extracted from this increase is that “there is a greater permissiveness” with an insult, a nickname or a joke.
Bullying on TikTok
“The different forms of ‘cyberbullying’ mean that on many occasions they follow a joke without being aware that they are participating in a case of harassment,” says Ballesteros. According to the latest Save the Children report, 6.9% of the students surveyed consider that they have suffered ‘cyberbullying’. The organization estimates that this percentage represents about 82,000 minors in Spain.
Social networks are triggering cases of anxiety and depression in adolescents. And the harassment was not going to be less. In fact, for almost half of the young people who participated in La Opinion de los Estudiantes, TikTok is the means by which they suffer this type of harassment. But this does not mean that the aggressor is not part of the victim’s environment, since 85.2% of students consider that the harassment comes from one of their classmateseven if it is done over the Internet.
However, changing this environment does not at any time guarantee that bullying will disappear. Thus, Ballesteros is opposed to this type of solution: “The victim must return to the same school when she has the guarantee that it will not be repeated.” He considers that this is an ineffective measure and in which the harassment can be repeated. In fact, a study published in Magazine PLOS Medicine showed that heStudents who repeat grades experience more bullying. So is there a solution?
Ballesteros is hopeful when seeing that “more and more students are aware“Although he believes that more measures are necessary, such as, for example, the unification of prevention protocols. And, since it is an issue that involves education and health, it is not the same to suffer ‘bullying’ in the Community Valenciana than in Andalusia, which is where more cases of bullying occur according to the latest data made public.
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