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TITLE OF THE CASE STUDIES:

Teenage pregnancy

SCENARIOS OF BULLYING EVENT::
  • Direct bullying
CAUSES OF BULLYING EVENT::
  • Non-especific
FACTUAL DESCRIPTION OF THE BULLYING EVENT:

A senior girl who had problems with school attendance, inappropriate behaviour, bad grades and other „bad student“ attributes, became pregnant. Students who thought very little of her now started to avoid her. The girl made her situation worse because she stopped attending school at all, and the finals were coming. She had no formal note why she was skipping classes, so her peers started to point out her behaviour to teachers as an example that a student can skip classes and still take the finals.
The girl’s mother has cancer, so she doesn’t have enough powers and emotional strength to take care of her daughter: soon she’ll be alone; she has to learn how to take care and protect herself. The mother was not married when she had her; the father is not present in her life.
Another reason for bullying was the father of her unborn child whom she was living with at that time: married man, recently put to prison for stealing.
Moreover, the student used to tell lies not only to school administration, to the teacher, but also to her classmates.

RESPONSE IMPLEMENTED:

The mother of the pregnant girl suffers greatly from this situation, but she has no power over her daughter (she lives separately) and is very ill. The teachers tried to help the student stop bullying and help her graduate, but due to student’s constant lies or suppressed truth they was very hard to help her; also the student lacks good will to let the teachers to help her.
In this complicated bullying case any bullying prevention program wasn’t used, but there were many consultations with school’s counsellor, girl’s teachers and school administration.

IMPACT OF THE BULLYING ACTION:

This bullying case is the life lesson for other schoolgirls and their peers, that teenagers sexual relations gives additional pressure not only on them, but especially on their parents, also makes it harder to gain good education. This kind of situation (premature sexual relations resulted in teenage pregnancy) causes troubles for teachers (to keep bullying outside the classroom) and school, because usually these situations cause reduced learning results that result in reduced teachers and schools ratings and prestige.
The most important negative outcome of this situation is that it forms negative view in children’s’ subconscious: children shouldn’t see pregnant peers in the class, because it forms illusion that it is normal, real and natural.

POINT OF VIEW OF VICTIM:

The girl understands why she receives negative comments, why her classmates started to avoid her presence, that’s why stopped to attend the school. She doesn’t pay much attention to those comments, because she starts to regret her previous behaviour that put her in this position. She doesn’t have complaints about her classmates and doesn’t blame them, but feels hurt so she skips classes.
But she feels to have a right to demand from teachers to work with her after classes (after her classmates are gone home), because she is punished enough: she has no father, her mother has cancer, her boyfriend is in prison, she is pregnant, etc.

POINT OF VIEW OF BULLYING STUDENT(S):

Her classmates feel sympathy for her situation; however they do not spare jokes, because she created all her problems by conscious actions. In addition to this, the girl often demands more rights from teachers that she does duties, and due to her attitude she gets treated more easily: administration and teachers try to avoid confrontations and stressful situations and give the student opportunity to take tests after the term and possibilities to take tests had already expired.

POINT OF VIEW OF OTHER STUDENTS:

The other part of students doesn’t comment or bully the girl, but they do not approve of her actions and behaviour previous becoming pregnant and during her pregnancy.

POINT OF VIEW OF TEACHERS:

Class teacher has informed school’s administration about upcoming problems long ago (at the beginning of 10th grade), because she ran into the student in the supermarket and after small take she found out that the girl was already living with her boyfriend and are renting a room together. Also teacher acknowledge administration about other family’s problems. School administration obliged the teacher to follow the situation and to assess the student to finish the school year (at the time due to poor attendance it was possible to leave her to repeat the course).
The teacher encouraged her to talk in order to help her, and to study at home, if she chooses not to attend the school. The next time the teacher met the girl in the shop, she confided that she had really badly cut her palm, that resulted in broken nerve which is way she needed to have a surgery and couldn’t attend the school.
The teacher encouraged the girl to try to solve her problems regarding grades and not taken tests by going to subject teachers and explaining situation and trying to ask for the help and sympathy instead of demanding something she wouldn’t get. Teachers were going to stop her from taking finals because she hadn’t attended a single class during the last semester. However, the teacher was saddened by the fact, that the girl constantly changed her mobile phone number, it was hard to contact her; only one girl from her classmates had access to her at rare occasions.

POINT OF VIEW OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS:

School administration tried to ignore the situation till they got a police notice: the girl together with her boyfriend was put in jail for thieving, but she was released. The student managed to get an exceptional meeting with whole school administration: it was decided that will be given a possibility to graduate the same year with her classmates, the schedule of her tests.

POINT OF VIEW OF THE PARENTS OF THE PUPILS INVOLVED:

The girl has no father. Her mother is unable to help her daughter, but she has complains about the bullying students – her daughter doesn’t go to school because of them.

POINT OF VIEW OF THE COUNSELLOR IN THE SCHOOL:

School counsellor didn’t have the opportunity to talk to the girl, because she just didn’t attend school and it was hard to contact her.

POINT OF VIEW OF POLICY MAKERS:

School administration contacted Education department with the question whether to allow student to take final exams; the answer was positive and the girl manage to pass most of her exams but with low grades.

CONCLUSIVE DEDUCTIONS:

The state together with parents should take care of children that they would grow decent citizens and that they act their age. Children – the classmates – should not only fell sympathy, but also should try to help such girl to try to become a better person to her, to her family and everyone around her and most importantly – to create a better life for her unborn child.

Comments about this Case Study


Date: 07.06.2012

Posted by: AUDREY HEINE
Type of school: Obervatory of violence and school dropping out - Ministry of Education
Country: Belgium

This is a very complex situation in which are entangled social, psychological and medical factors. The girl is clearly in a very complicated personal situation and the class should be an area of psychological security; yet this is not the case. Students are not comprehensive with respect to her situation. I do not think that in this case one can speak of bullying by other students, but rather of a lack of empathy. Again, the intervention of a PMS team could help defuse conflicts.
Medical monitoring should also be proposed for the student (by the nurse of PMS for example). Finally, given the absence of parents, it might be useful to find another referent for this young girl (brothers? Uncle? Aunt? Grandparents?, Etc.)

Date: 14.03.2012

Posted by: BOIŢĂ RAMONA GEORGIANA
Type of school: V.MADGEARU High School IASI
Country: ROMANIA

The common element of both situations was the misunderstanding that existed between the pregnan girl and her colleagues, but also the way in which the school tried to solve the conflict.

In the case of the Lithuanian school, as opposed to out school, the conflict was first just about the pregnant girl, but them spiraled through the entire body of students which brought into questioning the level of competence of the teachers who were accused of too much good will in favor of the pregnant student.

In such cases, the family represents a moral support, but also the basis of a solid education which would not allow such a situation where social rules were broken, and as a result with repercussions for the pregnant student as well as for her child who will be born in a negative family and social environment. In such cases the people recommended to get involved are: the school administration, the teachers but not only. Obviously I would have confidently asked for help from one of the mentioned people.

After each conflict, the school learns that they must be on top when other similar situations appear and that each problem which needs solutions will aid the teachers in solving the next conflict. Any of the teachers in the school can offer to help students who find themselves in a conflict, and they do so through an open attitude towards everyone, so as to assure every student that they can find the support and help they need anytime.

Prevention plans for an unwanted pregnancy as well as demonstrating the negative impact of the child who would be born at such a fragile age, can surely be of much help for the adolescent girl who think that life at this point is just a game of love. Debating/discussing with the involved parties together with a specialist (counselor, school psychologist) could lead to eradicating these unpleasant situations. Efficient strategies can be those which establish from the beginning the reason/reasons for the dispute, but also those that address the initial state as well as the resulting one.

The strategies used by the school counselor together with the family lead to a less difficult situation for the student, since the school could only make sure that she had the possibility of finishing the school year and intervening in the conflict with the other students. This is why I consider them useful but also but also suited for our school as well.

YES, I have participated in training courses in the “House of Efficient communication Strategies of the Teacher Body” which discussed different problems which adolescents might face. I think that a training program must stem from the reality that surrounds us and then talk about ways of implementing the best methods of solving conflicts in the classroom.

Date: 07.03.2012

Posted by: Mariola Morillo Pareja
Type of school: Concerted
Country: Spain

From personal experience I haven´t had such case.
The family environment is very important and dysfunctional families lead to problems like these in students.
I think in this case the work of guiding the center was crucial and that is arranged within the student faculty make an adaptation of content because it is a special case that needs a chance to get your graduate.
We also have meetings with the student to show him that you have to engage if you want to get the title.
I think it important to work the value of empathy and make students understand that not everyone has the same familiar environment and the same opportunities in life and it is important to help those who need it.
It would be nice to be trained to convey the values of empathy and autonomy to students and how to deal with sex education to adolescents in a positive way.
You have to work especially well convey empathy empower students to be responsible for their education and how much the school will help them must do their part.
Sex education in schools is also essential to avoid such situations, especially in these times when teens are increasingly early.

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