Experts from different fields reflect on bullying at the Faculty of Education

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The Faculty of Education organised an event to reflect on bullying at school and to analyse potential solutions. During the event, which took place yesterday in the Faculty’s Auditorium various experts analysed bullying at school from different perspectives: education, family and the law. 

Experts from different fields reflect on bullying at the Faculty of Education

Healthcare psychologist and school educational psychologist Andrea Pérez Orué opened the event with a talk entitled: “The multiple faces of bullying:  What happens to the protagonists?” Pérez Orué described the phenomenon, talking about the different protagonists it involves and how to raise awareness among those affected. “This is a serious subject - she said- because currently one out of five children have been bullied”.  In any case, she continued, “we should not stigmatise the bully: victims are not victims all the time, and bullies are not bullies all the time”.

After this talk a round table was held, in which the following people participated: José Ramón Agustina, director of the Master’s degree in Cybercrime at UIC Barcelona and a specialist in cyberbullying; Consuelo León, director of the Observatory on Family Policies and head of communication at the Institute of Advanced Family Studies at UIC Barcelona (IESF), and Joana Cipré, a teacher and educational psychologist.

Agustina, as a lawyer who specialises in technological crimes, talked about the danger sexting involves, a risky practice which very often generates forms of bullying between peers. He analysed sexting as a mode of gender violence mediated through new technologies, both on social networks and via smartphones, a danger that that is highly prevalent among teenagers. He said “it is not prudent to talk about what some people call “safe sexting”, since sentimental relationships, particularly among teenagers, can be highly unstable”.

On the other hand, Consuela León underlined the role the family plays in relation to the phenomenon of bullying. As she explained, summarising a recent study undertaken by the IESF, “bullying at school has grown over the last five years at the same time as changes in family life have been occurring, as well as a certain amount of insecurity in terms of parental roles”.  For these reasons, León stated that “today it is more necessary than ever to ensure that there is a clear and decisive educational agreement between families and schools since there are clear disparities in relation to the way in which the basic context is transmitted as far as respect between peers is concerned, which is so necessary in order for us to live together in society”.

Finally, Joana Cifré talked about her experience as a teacher and referred to the prevention of bullying and the tools that pupils need to acquire when they are young: “It is very important to work on empathy with them, which is the first time they can see what is right and wrong, because it involves putting yourself in the other person’s shoes”. Cifré talked about the need to act immediately when faced with these situations.  “The children are the responsibility of all the teachers, all of them must take action when they see a potential case of bullying”. She recommends that future teachers become involved in school life, always listen to children, and create a strong bond with them.