Bullying in schools: an issue that affects everyone
On Thursday 10 November 2022, all state schools and private schools operating under contract took part in “No to Bullying” day.
This year, the focus was on microaggressions: insults, noise, disruptive behaviours, and so on. Raising awareness about these everyday aggressions against pupils and adults, as well as the means of addressing them, is an effective way to combat the things that constitute a breeding ground for bullying in schools.
Throughout the day, from CP (Year 2) to the final year of secondary education, each school was organising activities to educate young people about this topic, and encourage them to express their feelings and develop their empathy. The activities included poster design, drawing competitions, speaking workshops and role-playing exercises.
The event was also an opportunity to highlight the preventive and disciplinary measures included in the recent Act No. 1.513, dated 3 December 2021, on combating bullying and violence in schools. The act asserts the right of pupils to a safe school environment.
The Prince’s Government also noted that at least one lead person responsible for preventing and combating bullying and violence was appointed in each of the Principality’s schools. Anyone who is aware of a potential case of bullying is invited to get in touch with this person (whose contact details are posted on each school’s website) so that the situation can be addressed.
Schools are currently finalising their “Preventing and combating bullying and violence” plans. These plans will set out preventive measures, the procedures for reporting instances of bullying and violence in schools, measures to support and supervise victims, perpetrators and witnesses of violent acts, and educational measures designed to help tackle or put an end to a violent situations in schools.
Furthermore, all teaching and non-teaching staff completed an online training course to improve their understanding of this new legislation. In partnership with the Nice Education Authority, school staff are additionally being trained in the “method of shared concern”, also known as the “Pikas method”, which helps to defuse and deal with situations involving violence and intimidation through dialogue.
These initiatives will continue and will be strengthened to combat violence in schools, enabling each pupil to enjoy a safe, peaceful and welcoming school environment.