Within the context of EVS ‘Involvement to quality’, every week we are involved in the creation of a new project which is related to different topics. This week, we have decided to work on the topic of bullying in schools. Since one of the main tasks of the volunteers is to get involved in the local community and to be in contact with students, we thought that beginning with the subject of bullying in schools was a good point to start from.
We recognize that bullying is a widespread problem that could concern students within the school context. Bullying, specifically, includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Bullying can occur in-person or through technology. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. Bullying, generally, involves three roles: the bully, the victim and the bystander. On the one side, the bully selects and systematically trains their victims to comply to their demands and whose actions are promoted by the silence from bystanders.
On the other side, the victim rewards the bully by yielding control and showing signs of intimidation. Moreover, they often fail to gain support from bystanders and avoid reporting the bullying. Finally, the last actor involves bystanders who play an important role in promoting or preventing bullying. Often without realizing it, they may worsen a situation by providing an audience, maintaining silence, actively encouraging, or joining in. Unicef’s statistics show that Romania has the highest percentage (60%) of adolescents aged 11 to 15 years who reported bullying others at school at least once in the past couple of months, followed by Latvia and Lithuania.
Our project, in particular, aims to increase awareness in schools about the problem of bullying in schools because we believe that the change comes from small groups. Besides the activities of visibility and dissemination of the project through the writing of this article and the promotion of an event on Facebook, we have prepared different activities in order to involve students aged between 11 and 14.
We are going to introduce briefly the topic to students with the use of a presentation, watch a short movie to open a discussion, and draw a tree with the main causes and consequences of bullying. What we aim to do with these activities is to give students the tools to be able to recognize and avoid situations of bullying. We think that bullying preventio strategies are most effective when applied early to children who are young or have just begun to bully. Together we can have bully-free school: stand up, speak up!
IQ EVS Volunteers