Were you ever bullied in school? It’s a frightening experience. The good news in Monaco is that the Conseil National have voted unanimously for a proposal that school children in Monaco should be protected from harassment.
President of the Conseil National, Stéphane Valeri, must be delighted that the bill to fight against harassment at school had received such support; it was co-signed by all the national advisers and voted unanimously. That would now put the ball in the government’s court.
For this proposal to be an actual law, (the version just voted could be amended by the government), takes an additional lengthy process, but it is on track to be effective in a year and a half and thus create a legal framework and buttress the measures already put in place by the National Department of Education, Youth and Sports.
Social Media and Bullying
Pernicious nowadays are the new types of bullying and humiliation that offenders put into play by exploiting social networks.
Fortunately, there already exist associations in the Principality who have accumulated wisdom in this domain and have been able to inject their experience into the proposed law. They include: Action Innocence, the Association of Parents of Pupils and Jeune J’écoute.
The particular additional problem with social media is that it extends the phenomenon of school bullying beyond the school and its immediate radius. So now the child’s home is no longer a sanctuary; the persecution can follow them there, as their peers continue to engage with one another on-line, night and day – there is no respite.
A Wide Safety Net
The bill envisages the creation of a position of “wise owl” such as a child psychiatrist – a highly qualified referee dedicated to the prevention and to the fight against the bullying of pupils. However it also envisages a broader safety net so that all education personnel will mobilize and join in the fight.
If our children are to grow up with high self-esteem and a high degree of self-confidence then sources of stress such as bullying need to be countered – and this is exactly what the proposed law number 243 aims to achieve.