"I Am Not Scared" Project
Sexual bullying between pupils in primary school
When and how the event started
During the school year 2009-2010, at the time of a school trip, 3 pupils of the 5th primary class have sexually abused fellows. They have also forced other pupils to do so. In case of refusal, they could be the victims.
The bullying has perdured at school, in places like the toilets.
The main actors involved
The type of bullying acts occurred
No accurate information. Probably several weeks.
A psychological support has been established by the school. Specialists in ill-treatment of children, who are linked to education, have been solicited.
After the crisis period, the family planning has been solicited in order to carry out, in the classroom, activities linked to affective, relational and sexual life.
No information about that issue.
No information about that issue.
A parent has detected his child’s body covered in bruises. Until that moment, no child had spoken about that.
Specialists in ill-treatments and in prevention concerning affective, relational and sexual life have intervened.
Game, reproduction of facts seen on the Internet, feeling of superiority. Choice of the “weakest ones”.
They have collaborated with the three bullies-pupils fearing to be, at their turn, victims.
Were they aware of the situation?
How did they understand what was happening?
What did they do?
Following the parents’ complaint.
They have been solicited by the school authorities and by the headmaster’s office to take part in the meetings with the police as well as in the meetings organized with the parents and the headmaster’s office.
Were they aware of what was happening?What did they do to deal with this event?According to them, what can be done to improve the situation?
The headmaster’s office has provided the pupils with a psychological support. It has organized meetings with specialists of children ill-treatment, the school authorities, the police… It has solicited the family planning that has carried out, in the classroom, activities related to affective, relational and sexual life.
The headmaster has also asked the teachers to take part in the meetings with the police, the parents and the headmaster’s office.
The headmaster’s office has also taken measures that seemed to be appropriated: the three pupils who had bullied and sexually abused have been excluded from the school.
Did they notice what was happening?
Have they been informed? And by who?Did they have the opportunity to change de situation and how?
A parent has given the alert after the discovering of bruises on his child’s body.
The parents have taken part in the meetings with the teachers and the headmaster’s office.
They have been solicited to bring a psychological support to the pupils.
The family planning "Infor Famille" has been solicited to carry out activities related to affective, relational and sexual life.
"As activity organizers at the family planning centre, our mission is to inform and to make prevention in the field of affective, relational and sexual life. The headmaster’s office has called us (knowing that, each year, we visit the 5th and 6th primary classes in order to talk about issues such as sexual maturity, making a child, the danger of the internet, the emotional relationship, the relationships with the parents,…) in order to specifically discuss about self respect and respect of the others. So we have visited the 5th primary class, that became meantime the 6th class, after the crisis period.
Our job consisted in reinforcing the work achieved upstream previously. Thus it was mainly a job of prevention and clear information : what is prohibited, the sanctions, the supporting persons, the conflict management, the Internet, the pornography and its impacts, the respect of one’s own body as well as the respect of the others’ body".
It was a one-off intervention.
"Our work could be more relevant if it was more repeated and prolonged. But this is not the wish of the school. The management of the crisis period has been properly managed according to us. However we think that this kind of bullying, even if it causes serious trauma, has to be cared through a long period of time.”
Following the parents’ complaint, the school authorities have intervened and have taken, with the headmaster’s office, the measures described before.
Concerning the veracity of the bullying event?
Not many information are brought on bullying, probably because of confidentiality. That does not enable to refine the analyses.
Concerning the causes and the mechanism that has allowed this phenomenon to occur?
The case described seems to be very serious as the events occur in school environment, without the adults of the school knowledge
The browsing of the Internet as well as factors of geographical context (the toilets, for instance) have contributed to the course of the events.
Concerning the answer brought by the school? Concerning the type of answer brought by the school (disciplinary or educational)?
The school has properly managed the victims.
Concerning the aggressors, the school has chosen a disciplinary sanction: exclusion. But that does not ensure a following of the youths.
It would have been wise that the young aggressors could benefit from care. It is essential for them to become aware of the seriousness of their acts, to understand why their behaviour is inappropriate. We must help them to find other options to fulfil their needs and to assert themselves as the “strongest ones”.
The sanction is absolutely necessary, but it does not help these young people to behave more properly. So they could bully again, in other places, especially if they do not have perceived the seriousness of their acts.
Concerning the lessons learnt and the prevention devices set up to avoid this situation to occur again?
More than strong prevention, we must also stress on the necessity to build up, day by day, links of confidence between educators (in the broad sense) and pupils as well as specific devices allowing the pupils to be listened by referent and reliable adults (we know they will not remain inactive). That implies a strong awareness from the educational team.
A work on the use and the dangers of the Internet should also be carried out at school.
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