"I Am Not Scared" Project
A case of racism
In class of Gymnasium the relations between two students (both 14 years old), George M. (bulling) and Roberto J. (victim), the last two years and especially during thιs school year , has come to breaking point.
These students-especially during the last six months - have daily frictions between them, usually verbal abuse and incidents of racist attacks, rarely escalate to violence.
Specifically, on October 25, came in fighting among themselves, with great brutality, exchanging obscene phrases, threats, punches and kicks.
The incident ended with intervention by teachers and bystanders students
The actions taken were:
• led to the Director for an apology.
• informed their parents.
Assembly was the teachers' association, and having into account the testimonies of those involved, the testimony of the bystanders students and teachers, the testimonies of the families whom children involved and the history of rivalry, namely the fact that they had created accordingly - lighter volume - problems in the past, received a three-day expulsion from their courses, while employment in extra curricular activities within the school under the supervision of teachers (library fit, counting books, etc.) in order to accustom the coexistence, cooperation, mutual tolerance and forbearance.
This bullying event upset the school community in many ways. School life has been disrupted often by students’ racist behavior and thus the specific incident triggered teachers’ worrying on the subject.
The perception of Roberto J. (victim) about the causes are:
• that the rivalry is nothing serious and that is part of the "fun"
• It is evident that he is afraid and insecure.
• additionally argues that the relationship is friendly.
• did not need help or inform anyone.
George M. (bullying) argues that:
• was the only friend of the victim when at first he came to Greece from Albania and that the victim is not considered.
• he feels bitterness, argues that he is not racist and that all what happened motivated by "fun."
• selected the victim because of this 'friendship' and has no regrets about it.
The classmates said that:
• Incentives are racist, that's why George M. occasional calls to Roberto J. "Albania" and not by name, so the victim of a reaction calls George M. "Greek".
• Others of their classmates, adopt the view of those involved say that everything is done for "fun."
• Repeated episodes among them are "normal", "expected" and they do not consider those very seriously.
• Teachers who witnessed the violent incident, have not the view of those involved, that everything is done for "fun." Contrast and the extent of the brutality of the incident which saw, are almost sure that there are deeper causes..
• Most teachers were aware of the rivalry, but not the exact cause.
• After the incident, tried interactively to understand the behavior of the parties and causes. Also, understood that the cause is racist and that the family of the bullying incites a degree of racist attitudes.
The Director of the school:
• Invited the children involved in his office the first in one to one basis and then both together to properly reflect their views.
• Informed the parties that their actions are upon the responsibility of the the board of teachers.
• Informed their parents about the incident and the background, and asked them to report if they know something about the rivalry and the possible causes.
• The family of the bulling claimed that ignored that conflict and did not expect that behavior from their child. They said that probably their child's reaction due to the provocative behavior of the victim.
• The victim's family claimed that they also ignored the controversy and that they can not explain the reasons.
My experience of 20 years as a Social Worker Counselor in both violence and racism but also my work over the last 10 years exclusively with students gives me the opportunity to give another perspective on this incident.
The work we do in KEDDY of facts as evidence that steps have been omitted here and have made mistakes.
This reinforces racism - though deep down there, and recycle.
The criticism that the society is not ready and has technical problems is a myth.
There are shortcomings and deficiencies consultants but the lack of knowledge handling the school what to do in similar situations and how to handle problems within the school.
These actions could have done to not get the situation at this point:
First the teachers should have knowledge of that adolescents will show aggressive behaviour in one way or another at one stage of their adolescence.
The root of bad behaviour comes at a very early age. So we expect that the first cases of violent situations can trace the social history of children to see if there were previous causes.
We investigate the profile of children to identify if there are reasons from older or if indeed appear at this time.
It is important to take into account one's marital status, relationships and perceptions of parents that reinforce and perpetuate these attitudes.
Evaluate and identify the problem and not the entire part of why sometimes we can fall into errors and instead offer a solution to strengthen violence and bad behavior.
We find that is the cycle of violence.
It is important to know clearly that begins and as it develops its violent episode to be able to stop and not information differ from mouth to mouth. So that means seeing a discreet glance the entire situation.
The Statement is organized and not piecemeal.
It is best to be proactive before we get to extremes to cure the condition.
If this is not possible again operate cooperatively instead of "police action" We are talking about children that shape personalities and not about infringing people. Not to grow prospective racists and violent people act on the rate of children and psychology and not as police investigators.
We strive to implement programs to strengthen positive attitudes of the positive characteristics of children. Eg. George manages this well. The Roberto that. A project to complete together and rewarded both for it.
There is multiculturalism in schools. It is good to stress the positive of the countries from which the children and not enhance differences and distinctions.
In a celebration, a trip in an environmental program so it could show its differences complement positively the puzzle of a different nationality and culture.
Differences and empathy to perceive children differently than adults entrained,
A counseling program for parents.
A discussion of information with appropriate specialists greatly improves things and anticipate situations.
And talking about helpless teachers and schools are institutions in Greece can and try to help effectively.
It is now clear that the phenomenon of violent and racist behavior can be prevented if we act in collaborative networks and not lonely.
When adolescents show positive alternatives rather than recycling concepts and reinforcing stereotypes and outdated penalties serve no children themselves, we reduce the problem significantly, especially in small places like the village living George and Roberto.
In this particular case, as in most cases which arise at schools of all levels, the causes of the incident at hand as they are identified as a conclusive deduction, are much more complex than they first appear to be. Xenophobia and racism, as a result of the fast changing Greek society into multicultural, create insecurities which lead to conflicts.
The absence of a Psychologist-Counselor from the school deprives the entire school community (Principal, teaching staff, students and parents) of being fully informed and thus aware of school bullying and the appropriate ways to confront it.
It is for this reason that proper knowledge obtained by means of informative seminars, for example, concerning the causes and characteristics of school bullying, is deemed invaluable not only for teaching staff and students, but also for parents.
The decision of the school Board of Teachers for the punishment of the involved students – as it is aplly accounted for, to expel them from classes but to be given other school duties, is considered to be an appropriate and fair way of confronting the situation at hand. However, the students involved should be given assistance and guidance by an expert, so that an analysis of the causes of their behaviour and the consequences of their actions can lead them to a deeper understanding of themselves as well as of the necessity for co-existence and confrontation of the new social conditions which are imposed on them, aiming not only at the correction of their behaviour but also at their smoother induction in the reality of the present society they live in.
Both the bullying and the victim lying on the causes of the rivalry. The bystander student, however, have a more realistic perception of the reason and causes of conflict.
In this fact distinguishes the parental influence on the bullying of racism, but fortunately there seems to be the norm.
The inability of the victim to confront the logic leads to physical violence, to confirm his ego.
It is also clear that the victim and his parents are frightened and insecured so teachers are not helping to prevent violent racist attacks.
It is a typical behavior based on racism and xenophobia.
The decision of the board of teachers to punish students, was designed in addition to trying to pass the message of tolerance to those involved in prevention of outbreaks of similar behavior in the future by themselves or others.
The Greek society is probably not ready yet to societal changes caused by changing the structure of the nation state in both the EU and globalization. But the majority of students seem to respond better than their parents on issues of multiculturalism, tolerance, religion, national origin, different culture and cultural identity.
The Greek educational structures, focusing on the learning domain of the child, while for the mental domain structures are inadequate, underperforming or absent. The lack of Advisor (counsellor) from Greek schools, depriving the right of children to better social integration, since the effort is fragmented.
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