The family demands policies to deal with school bullying at home

Experts from the fields of education, healthcare and family today tackled the issue of school bullying at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC Barcelona) in a session the university organised in conjunction with the Joaquim Molins Figueras Foundation.  

In the opening session of the conference, Dr Montserrat Gas, director of the Institute for Advanced Family Studies and Mr Joaquín Molins, president of the Joaquim Molins Figueras Foundation, presented the new Childcare and Family Policies Chair. Joaquín Molins highlighted the teamwork with UIC Barcelona which has been consolidated through the creation of the new chair and stated that the aim behind the chair is to provide a “space for analysis and the transfer of knowledge between the different agents who are involved in family and childcare policies”.  On the other hand, Dr Gas stated that “the aim behind the new chair is also to help towards the design of new family policies that are concerned with the interests of minors, as well as providing proposals for improvement in the field of family policies”. 

At the end of the morning a report was presented entitled “La percepción y experiencia del acoso escolar en la escuela, la familia y la sociedad” [The perception and experience of school bullying in schools, the family and society], written by Dr Consuelo León and involving input from the new chair. The study was undertaken based on five focus groups in which 14 schools participated (7 state and 7 private schools).  At the end of the study, suggestions were made for policies for intervention in the fields of education, the media and the family. 

According to the report, there is increasing demand from parents for tools that will help them to manage bullying and cyberbullying from home.“Until now policies for action have been worked on and implemented only in schools, however it is necessary to provide tools to families so they can also tackle it”, stated Dr Consuelo León. 

The study also reinforced the idea that it is necessary for schools to become somewhere that training can be offered to parents. “The proposal is to convert schools, in cooperation with families, into a real and efficient tool for prevention”. The report also stated that “parenting styles that are communicatively open are key in order to identify bullying. Suitable parental communication reinforces children’s dignity and removes them from relationship patterns in which an abuse of power can occur”. 

During the morning there were two round tables on bullying and cyberbullying and indicators and on how to successfully tackle situations of school bullying with input from experts from the fields of healthcare, education and family.  The conference will end this afternoon with four workshops in which experts and professors will share projects and good practices.