Speak out! …and help stop bullying

Bullying at school affects 700,000 pupils in France each year

Anti-harassment day highlights problem that affects 700,000 pupils a year

Today is No to Bullying Day in schools and this year’s theme is to encourage witnesses to bullying to speak out. It is estimated that bullying affects one in 10 pupils making 700,000 every year.

One of the methods that has been put into place in lycées is to encourage volunteer pupils to become ambassadors against bullying. They can then work on a project to make other pupils aware of the issue and they can also, if they wish act as a reference point for anyone who is being bullied to talk to.

There is always an adult who takes responsibility for the ambassadeurs lycéens.

It is this kind of action that is being promoted today. A video clip has also been released which has been made by pupils at the Collège Thomas Riboud at Bourg-en-Bresse, Ain, and which won a prize in the government’s annual competition to produce anti-bullying posters and videos. It was made by 12 pupils with the help of three adults from their school.

Luna watches what is happening to Emma and wonders what she should do. Finally she calls the Non au Harcèlement helpline on 3020 to ask for advice, is able to speak to Luna and persuades her to talk to a teacher. The message is that you must speak out if you want to stop bullying.

The helpline which is free, anonymous and confidential, has been set up for parents, witnesses, victims and professionals to call. It is open Monday to Friday from 9.00-20.00 and Saturday 9.00-18.00. Last year, 14,000 calls were registered, the majority from worried parents.

This is the third year the Journée Nationale de Lutte Contre le Harcèlement has been organised by the Ministry of Education and there are events organised in schools throughout the country.  

A campaign recognising bullying as a serious issue in schools was only started in 2011, but now there are a series of measure in place to help parents and children in a government initiative called Non au Harcèlement.  As well as the helpline and one for internet bullying on 0 800 200 000, there is also a website which gives advice.

In December’s issue of The Connexion we look at what you can do as a parent if you think your child may be the victim of bullying. Up to midnight on Sunday November 12 you can still subscribe to receive the December issue at your home.

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