It’s back-to-school time in Monaco and this year, kids can get back to learning with the reassuring knowledge that the new, anti-bullying law is now in effect.
Bill n°1036, relating to the fight against bullying and violence in the school environment, was voted on during a Public Session in November 2021. This bill aims to provide the Principality with ways of identifying, preventing, reporting, dealing with and punishing situations of harassment and violence in the school environment.
Training for staff and students
The law requires public and private educational establishments to facilitate awareness-raising actions aimed at both staff and students. Education staff must undergo training at least once a year, intended to prevent, identify and deal with situations of harassment and violence. Sessions for students will enable them to acquire tools for non-violent communication and conflict management, and to be made aware of empathy and self-esteem.
The law will also help in the fight against bullying and violence in schools through the appointment of a Delegate that students and staff can talk to within the Department of National Education, Youth and Sports.
Bullying and harassment is punishable by imprisonment
The new law defines bullying as “subjecting a pupil, knowingly or not, by any means whatsoever, including by electronic communication, to repeated actions or omissions having as their object or effect a degradation of their learning or school life conditions, resulting in an attack on their dignity, their integrity, a feeling of fear, insecurity, distress, exclusion or a decline in the sense of belonging to the educational institution or in self-esteem, or by an alteration in their physical or mental health.”
The new law states that repeated malicious telephone calls or messages are punishable by imprisonment of six months to one year and an unspecified fine. Provoking the suicide or attempted suicide of another is punishable by imprisonment of one to three years. When the offences relate to words or images of a sexual nature, the penalties are increased from three to five years of imprisonment and double the fine.
Toll-free number for victims of violence – Monaco: 0800 91 90 10