Data released recently, reveals that Greece holds the fourth place among European countries, on school bullying. In fact, it was revealed that one in three secondary school students has been a bullying victim by his classmates and one in two students has witnessed such incidents.
The first scientific conference of the European Anti-bullying Netwok (EAN), entitled “School bullying and cyber-bullying across Europe,” began today in Athens and will be completed tomorrow.
Psychologists, sociologists, researchers, teachers and school counselors from different EU countries exchanged experiences and statistical data focusing on the importance of awareness, information and participation of parents, students and teachers in order to effectively address and solve the problem of school bullying. They also discussed the issues of violence and aggression, both within families and society.
Most victims are vulnerable children, with low self-esteem who are often sentimentally or physically weaker than their peers. The bullies on the other hand, appear aggressive, even towards their teachers. They have authoritarian tendencies towards their peers, they get easily irritated, while they don’t appear to have confidence problems.
A third category consists of children who are both the victims of bullying and bullies themselves. These children tend to be hyperactive, insecure, and antisocial, usually unloved by their peers and their teachers. These children have low self-esteem and they try to react to the violence they receive, but not always effectively, as psychologist and researcher, Dan Olweus stated.
A research by the University of Cambridge showed that children who suffered from bullying are at a greater risk of developing depression, anxiety and suicidal tendencies later in their life.
The “Smile of the Child” organization which participates in EAN, received 500 calls and 31 e-mails on bullying in 2013, noted its president, Konstantinos Giannopoulos. He also mentioned that members of “Smile of the Child” made 378 visits to 10,720 children from schools throughout Greece in order to prevent bullying last year alone.