Height, weight, skin colour, and many other attributes…These are the things that students are mocked and bullied for at schools and on social networks. Isabelle Bonnai, Director of Education, Youth and Sports, along with a classroom of sixth-graders, listed these things at Charles III college during a day they called “No to Harassment”. Prior to this day, the students began to prepare for the day. They wrote poems, made presentations with text and photos and finally addressed the topic in class yesterday.
Investigations from public security are raising awareness about harassment and aggression. Awareness is the first step towards fighting against bullying. For two years, Nicolas Rodier has been in charge of the ‘school life mission’, which means he cares for “what happens outside the classroom” in Monaco’s schools. Bullying is one aspect of students’ social lives. He helps train adults who supervise students. Aiding a harassment situation always starts with dialogue.
Institutions may also use psychologists or public security. “During a harassment case, an inquiry is immediately undertaken,” says Isabelle Bonnal. Speaking with students about harassment does not mean that lsabelle Bonnai is over-dramatising it. Cases of bullying are “still down-played by students. One case of bullying is one too many.”
This echoes a statement from the Horizon Monaco political group, issued in September, which referred to a survey on harassment in institutions of the Principality, carried out by the association ‘Action Innocence’: “The numbers have not yet been made public, but should not be far from French statistics, which argue that: for child victims of harassment, over 10% of these cases happen at school.” According to the government, the results of an anonymous survey conducted last year revealed that between 2 and 4% of students in Monaco say they have had some level of harassment.