Each third student was witness or initiator of bullying actions, study

Each third student was a witness or the initiator of bullying actions and each fourth child was both the victim and witness of such actions. The inaction makes them endure the role of victim, witness bullying actions and finally the same inaction makes them become aggressors, says the study “Bullying among Adolescents in the Republic of Moldova” that was carried out with assistance from UNICEF Moldova, IPN reports.

The findings were presented in public consultations staged by the Parliament’s commission on culture, education, youth, sport and the media. Diana Cheianu, expert in educational policies, said the study covered over 2,200 sixth-twelfth graders from national education institutions, teachers, psychologists and parents. The survey was carried out last autumn, but the respondents were asked to refer to situations that happened in 2018 as bullying is not simple violence, but recurring violence.

The study shows that only 70% of the students feel fine at school. The other children said they are sad, scared, concerned or indifferent and this picture shows that a lot of work is to be done, stated the expert. Only 85% of the respondents consider that the students are friendly towards them. 46%, which is each second student, said there is at least one student or more students to whom the mates refuse to talk, do not share their ideas or even laugh at them. For parents, primarily those from rural areas, the term “bullying” is unknown, but these use synonyms for it, such as humiliation, intimidation, harassment by words and deeds. The parents also said that bullying existed also when they went to school. Concomitantly, the specialists declared that the students become harsher.

UNICEF Representative in the Republic of Moldova Desiree Monique Jongsma said the subject of bullying has been discussed more intensely, at all the levels of society. At global level, it is admitted that this phenomena affects the wellbeing of children and young people. But not all its consequences are known. In 2016, more than 100,000 young people and students took part in a study organized through UNICEF. This shows that one third of the respondents noted that being subject to bullying is something normal and they do not tell anyone about what they experience. Also, one fourth of the victims said that they don’t know who to tell about bullying. In Moldova, the situation does not differ much from the global situation.

“It is discouraging to learn that the adults often treat bullying as something normal or underestimate the proportion of consequences that can be generated by this. In many cases, harassment is ignored or tolerated. When the parents or teachers do not intervene, some of the victims act themselves and this often leads to unfavorable consequences. In a modern class centered on the child, bullying would not exist. The Convention on the Rights of the Child clearly explains the Government’s obligation to ensure the children’s right to a safe learning environment,” stated Desiree Monique Jongsma.

Head of the commission on culture, education, youth, sport and the media Adrian Lebedinschi said that four persons were killed by children in 2019. There were four cases of causing of serious bodily injuries, 12 offenses of a sexual character, ten robberies and other cased involving children. These children do not get enough attention in schools. They dare to mock at their mates, to take their money and these children are not necessarily from poor families and similar cases happen in private schools too. The children with disabilities often become victims of bullying.

Ombudswoman for children’s rights Maia Bănărescu spoke about the size of violence in educational institutions. According to the study, each fifth child doesn’t know how to act when they or someone else are subject to violence.

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