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TITLE OF THE CASE STUDIES:

Unwanted Pregnancy

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

D. and E. are classmates in the 2nd grade class of senior high school. During the academic year they got into romance and E started a pregnancy. D and his family – his parents who are public servants and his nine years old brother- wanted E to stop the pregnancy because they believe that the baby will cause problems in their future course. Parents of E. who are freelancers, keep a shop in the town, are very close to their religious authorities and consider abortion as a crime. They convinced E to keep the baby while continuing her studies at school and at the university, since they will assist her in raising the baby. Now, one year later D and E. C are still students in the high school and they are already parents. D has acknowledged the child, but anyone of them is living with his family. D and his parents visit E. and the child every Sunday.
D. is indifferent to the school lessons, has many absences from school, his behavior inconveniences teachers who characterize him insolent and rebellious. E is a student with targets, good performance, kind and loved by her teachers and classmates. The relationship of two students at school is typical to indifferent.
E. has a sister, M, who attends the first grade class in the same school. M started well her studies, but during the year she started to present indifference to learning, withdrew more and more to herself, is unwilling to interactions with peers. She is often sad and generally showing signs of resignation. Shortly after the Christmas holidays M attempted suicide in the toilets of the school, where she was found with a note beside her: "Do not look for why. The important thing is my sister to be fine”. She transferred to the hospital where she treated with the necessary medical intervention and after two days she came back to school. She asked the Director to talk to a specialist from the Youth Advisory Station.
She revealed that the D. extorted her that he will leave her sister if she had not sexual relationships with him. She gave in and periodically he was determining the place and time of their meeting to get together sexually. After some time he threatened her that he would tell about all to her sister if she did not use drugs with him. When extortion arrived at this point, M was attempted to suicide. She had never talk about all these to anybody but now she was asking for help trying not to hurt her sister.
The counselor informed the Director of the school and the parents of both students. D was referred to the Addiction Treatment Centre with his own agreement where he entered a dry treatment program. A few months later D stated repentant for his actions and M. stated relieved by course of the events. Both asked nothing to be learnt E. and her family. The three students now have completed their studies at school and studying in higher education.

RESPONSE IMPLEMENTED:

The explanation that M has attempted suicide due to sexual frustration seems to be convinced the school community. The Director and the teachers did not investigate the issue further. M by herself asked the Director to help her to talk to a counselor from the Youth Advisory Station.
The counselor from the new advisory station informed the Director of the school and parents of both the students’ situation.
D was referred to the Addiction Treatment Centre and he entered a dry treatment program. M received the intervention and support of the counselor.
No any other authority was involved in the case because M was negative in this.

IMPACT OF THE BULLYING ACTION:

The impact of the incidents on school community is multifaceted. In such cases an important role can be played by the director and teachers if they are close to their students and inform on time their parents and counselors or specialist on each case. The most common problems in school communities nowadays are learning disabilities, health problems, domestic or financial problems, bulling, violence.
The director of the school has to inform the teachers and discuss with them on how to support these students. Also, he has to discuss with the students. A continuous feedback with all stakeholders (parents - teachers - students) is very important. Within this framework he has the potential for substantial assistance by advising students himself or referring to specialists.
Additionally, he can prevent worsening problems or deal with them effectively. Generally, the director must maintain a substantial catalytic attitude on issues related to problems with students, even though they have no direct association with school life.

POINT OF VIEW OF VICTIM:

Victims are both the two sisters in this case. The 'main' victim is the M who appears as a person who is influenced by the opinions of others and standing alone unable to make her own decision on her serious personal problem. M shows individual insecure, fearful and guilt. She preferred to attempt suicide to put an end to this story than to talk about the events and cause problems to her sister. The fact that she voluntarily asked for professional help is very important.

POINT OF VIEW OF BULLYING STUDENT(S):

D. shows an insolent and rebellious nature and the his profile is violent and aggressive.
His behavior against M probably shows accumulated anger, revenge and blackmail for the whole family that forced him to become a father without his wiling. His actions against M probably have the effect of drugs.

POINT OF VIEW OF OTHER STUDENTS:

The other students of the school after the attempt to suicide of M expressed surprise and indignation. They could not understand why she acted this way. They considered unthinkable that M attempted suicide because of a sexual frustration.

POINT OF VIEW OF TEACHERS:

The teachers in the school when informed about the events and their causes, took the opportunity to make conversations with their students about general subjects such as:
- The role of the family and whether it can transmit the new moral values, especially when in many cases the parents themselves adopt attitudes and behaviors that deviate from those who profess. Emphasis was paid to the indifference of parents, some times, to the needs of their children and the distance between them during their communication.
- In particular psychology that governs young people who try to discover their identity, develop their personality and claim a share of life in a world unstable, rapidly changing and in a society that has lost its way.
- The need to inform students on issues of sex education, drugs, etc. This information can come either through formal education or by various social agencies and have for example the form of seminars.

Teachers consider important the need for mechanisms and institutions for psychological counseling, information and guidance to families and parents on issues of education and adolescence.

POINT OF VIEW OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS:

The Director of the school seems to have handled the incident with discretion. He knew that E was pregnant, was awarded about the relationship between D & E and the situation with their families. After being informed by the Youth Advisory Station, he informed the parents of D and M for the events discreetly. He also informed the teachers.
Maybe he could be closer to the students involved in the incident, but he preferred to keep some distance since the parties did not want public disclosure of the issues

POINT OF VIEW OF THE PARENTS OF THE PUPILS INVOLVED:

D’s family are public servants and at first they wanted to stop E’s the pregnancy because they believe that this was the result of a frivolous adolescent relationship and the baby will cause problems in the future development of their son
Parents of E. are freelancers, they are clinging to their religious authorities considering abortion as a crime, and persuade E to hold the baby while continuing her studies at school and after that, since they promised to assist in raising the baby.
The relations between the two families eventually become standard, as D has acknowledged the child. D with his parents visits E. and the child every Sunday.
His parents supported the D during the detoxification. The parents of the two girls supported their daughters
The two families did not want more publicity, consistent not known other actions and attitudes

POINT OF VIEW OF THE COUNSELLOR IN THE SCHOOL:

There was not a counselor at school to face the problem. A social worker who was informed about the incident later commented that:
The motives of the perpetrator:
The difficulties of the young man character (audacious and disorderly, according to the teachers) in conjunction with the promiscuous adolescence form a profile of the abuser violent and aggressive.
In this case the victims are both the two sisters. In the case of the unwanted pregnancy, there is no blame for rape. His behavior against M. shows an accumulated anger, revenge and blackmail for the whole family that forced him to become a father.
The attitude of the victim:
M’s attitude shows a person affected by the opinions of her parents without self-motivation and determination of her serious personal problem . M shows individual insecure, fearful and guilt, forming a personality vulnerable to exploitation. The fact that she voluntarily asked for help from a specialist indicates a start of self-motivation and mobilization.
.Director’s actions:
The Director correctly referred the case to a special unit for detox, but matters concerning the the baby and the relationship between the couple and the two families should be referred to family counseling and therapy. Ms should be referred for individual therapy.
The role of a counselor in the school:
All of the above, would be stepped and faced according to a effective way, if a special counselor was working in the school.
It is a positive implication the fact that despite the serious difficulties both the student and the two sisters continue their education. The support of the school and to the families seems to be effective in young people lives. On the other hand there is an uncertainty about the outcome of the issue concerning the baby as well as concerning the method of scientific support for the new parents.

POINT OF VIEW OF POLICY MAKERS:

This case study is typical of the case highlights the importance of supportive structures in education system, such as the Youth Advisory Station. It's a very difficult case that requires cool, tricky manipulation. The slightest error in handling could lead to unforeseen situations, very painful for young people involved in this story.
The director acted properly. In particular:
1) He called the Youth Advisory Station. He did not proceed to frivolous, impulsive, actions and amateur handling.
2) He did not discussed the case with the teachers of the school, which would lead to disclosure of the issue, and probably to students’ punishments, totally inappropriate for the particular case
3) He made the necessary steps to support psychologically all the three students (all in this case they all need support)
4) He supported the pregnant student to continue attending school (the fact that now is a pupil, means that actually she didn’t stop attending the lessons but for a time period she was taught in private)

CONCLUSIVE DEDUCTIONS:

This incident is a complex issue associated with all stakeholders’ socialization and lifestyles adopted by young people nowadays.
The modern sirens are too many and state institutions of socialization in different directions may create an ideological confusion difficult for young people and especially teenagers to crystallize their value system that will protect themselves problems and extreme dilemmas.
Axes to approach the problem may be:
a) How the modern family (parents' work schedules - burden courses for children - minimizing communication years - diametrically opposed views on issues taboo)
b) Media: viewing sexual relationships among students, more and more younger
c) The widespread use of alcohol by young students
d) The provocative sartorial choices, especially underage girls.
The sociological approach of the incidents leads us to many roads and trails of thought.
All involved students are in need of psychological support. We all need a second chance. Before we convict our students let listen to them. Let's show them the path of love that protects against extreme situations

SUMMARY OF THE CASE STUDY IN BULGARIAN LANGUAGE:

Нежелана бременност.pdf

Comments about this Case Study


Date: 18.03.2012

Posted by: ANTHI KARATRANTOU
Type of school: VOCATIONAL SCHOOL
Country: Greece

We agree that the fact, that the physical assault was so extreme and shocked the school community indicates the need for education of students, parents and teachers as well, regarding bullying and racism. A clear Anti-Bullying Policy written by students/staff/parents would also be a powerful tool in this.
It is important visiting speakers to be invited by the school to educate the students and raise their awareness in our Multi-Cultural Society that we live in.
Unfortunately In Greek schools there is not a school counsellor or a social educator who would be informed constantly about students’ situation, problems with family and fellows and problems faced in the school life in order for him/her to be able to
refer to Social Care and External agencies where appropriate.
It is important for the school community to have a councillor or other suitably trained member of staff as nowadays is crucial for the well being of our students. We support that education of students, parents, teachers and directors on bulling aspects, it is of great importance.
We absolutely agree that teachers’ role has evolved from ‘just teaching’ students to read and write to empowering them to become wholly rounded thoughtful; and responsible adults. It is not easy as teachers should be equipped with special knowledge and experience.
During this year a substantial effort have been made by the school community to inform, teachers, parents and students about the bulling phenomenon. Short conferences and meetings took place all over Greece on the 6th of March, as this day was a National Day of Violence in Schools. A special Educational material was offered to students, teachers and parents about the phenomenon, its causes, its forms and ways of prevention. An on-line portal was developed in order to call students to find information as well as to impeach cases happening to themselves or to their fellow students. We think it is a good star towards facing the problem.


Date: 16.03.2012

Posted by: Diana Vaneva
Type of school: Secondary school
Country: Bulgaria

It is quite fortunate that the result of the resolution of this case was positive, the problem is that the approach has been rather one-sided, not considering as carefully as necessary all the parties involved in the problem. At first place, when E. and her parents found out that she was pregnant, they should have asked for professional support to the whole family, including her sister. It was obvious for everyone that the boy has problems but no one took the responsibility to talk with him and to undertake certain actions to prevent him from torturing M. This could be related to the fact that the school and the family of the girls did not want things to get public and particularly the desire of M. and the boy to keep the whole thing secret from E. Fortunately for all parties the situation was resolved peacefully and the school and the families can only hope that the solution is long term and the effects for the involved youths are persistent.

Date: 13.03.2012

Posted by: SCHIROSI SERENA ANNA MERCURI MARIA CONSIGLIA
Type of school: technical high school
Country: Italy

The case in question is particularly complex and is emblematic either of the problems associated with adolescence and the difficulties of communication in the modern family, that the school is often called to face. It makes us reflect on the undeniable need for a center of listening and psychological support to students at school, as well as the importance of a continuous and constant relationship between school and families.
It is believed that bullying of D against M perhaps could have been avoided, with the activation of a 'proper monitoring action and a possible psychological support for D and E, before and after E.’s pregnancy and paternity of D. We also wonder whether the same pregnancy would not have been avoided by adopting a curriculum of sex education and by a programme of education and prevention of drug addiction. In fact it is not given out since D had been using drugs and how this might have influenced the whole true story.
The existence of a school counseling center and support for students, which is for example the CIC actually working in our school, would surely have provided support to D and E in the difficult process of premature parenthood.
The attitudes of D to M, in fact, in our opinion may have been induced by the inability to handle frustration, anger and revenge felt by D and E in front of all his family for the sudden fatherhood.
In any case, the event that happened between D and E would prudently have suggested a 'proper attention by the Council of the classroom and school staff towards M, on his arrival at school. This from the outset and, anyway, since the early signals and closing down the girl's school performance. In our school, the tutor of the class would have been immediately informed of the events happening to D and E, M to support and understand the feelings about the affair occurred to her sister, perhaps by using the Assembly class to address in general terms the problems of the two students.
It is surprising that M has been sexually abused several times by f D, until the compulsion to use drugs, and has come to an extreme act of attempting suicide in the school bathrooms, without any of his companions, teachers, school staff had recognised the deep psychological distress of the girl.
Once again it is clear how the figure of the school psychologist or social worker should be crucial to prevent any suicide attempts by giving the girl the opportunity to be helped .In fact it was the girl to ask for help after returning at school from the hospital.
The school where the bullying in question occurred, in the absence of a supportive educational institution within the same school and in absence of a school programme of preventive education to emotion and sexuality, has certainly managed the problem at its best.

Date: 18.02.2012

Posted by: Ann Foxley-Johnson
Type of school: Secondary 11-16 Comprehensive School
Country: United Kingdom

Although we haven’t experienced a situation as complex as this, we have had experiences of teenage/unwanted pregnancies in the past. We always work with the parents and respect an individual’s choice for discretion in these matters.
The director of the school in this case clearly knows who to refer the young people too initially and collaborated with the parents and it was professionally dealt with.
Personally, I feel that this situation is most alarming as the aggressor, D, had many issues including an addiction and a preference to power and control. He had lost control of the situation with his baby’s mother so he needed to regain control and found his target to manipulate for his own power. Were there signs of this before the pregnancy?
My concern is with M and the physiological damage that she has suffered. The fact that she attempted suicide in school demonstrates the despair that she felt. She wanted help and indeed asked to speak to a specialist from The Youth Advisory Station. I wonder is there an opening for a councillor in school for students to approach?
I hope that E can support her sister, move forward and be able to raise her child successfully.
Something we do at our College is that we have a clear sex Education programme .We have a School Nurse who runs a clinic at Lunchtime to give advice on Contraception, drugs, alcohol and other issues that affect our young people. We have found this to be most effective as Students can ‘drop in’ and speak confidentially to an expert.
Maybe an education programme could be planned in school in the future along the lines of Personal Health & Social (we currently run with this in our school) also called Individual Development ,where we have Health Education Days where students attend workshops by visiting experts to give advice.
Overall, I think the matter was handled appropriately and wish success for all the young people that this involved.

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