From the editor: "As we have highlighted in our introduction of #throughthenewsagainstanyviolence, bullying is one of the manifestations of violence that is perceived and handled differently according to countries and different groups of people. When it comes to solving the problem, some countries and societies are more advanced, while some still lag behind, often because of outdated mentalities within institutions. This often makes children and teenagers at school especially vulnerable, leaving them feeling helpless and hopeless, like our young volunteer, who decided to open up on the subject in the article below. Here’s what bullying is to the 17-year-old Giorgi in Georgia".
Bullying is a problem that isn’t difficult to solve. It’s a global social problem. What is the reason for bullying? One in every five children is a victim of bullying. The reason for it may be a lack of attention given to this problem.
What is bullying and why is it important to solve this problem?
Bullying is the type of oppression which mostly begins at school and may also be a physical and psychological abuse of one person by another. The children who experience bullying become: less self-confident, withdrawn and have emotional problems. If someone doesn’t stop a bully on time, bullying may have an effect on the child’s development. He or she may become a withdrawn, indifferent and less self-confident person. It will cause a lot of complexes. There are a lot of cases when victims of bullying can’t endure it anymore and attempt suicide. Maybe in this way, they try to attract attention and get help. It’s very important to solve this problem. I strongly believe that society must start to consider solutions to bullying as an important issue and start with small and easy but important steps. I have experienced bullying and I know what it feels like. It leaves deep scars, treating of which isn’t that easy.
Who becomes a victim of bullying?
Endurance comes from ancient times. People have been victims of bullying because of their social status, religion, skin color, physical appearance, and sexual orientation.
Unfortunately, there is no progress in solving this problem. To this day, it’s one of the most pressing and important issues.
According to a survey carried out by the "National Center for Educational Statistics" (USA), in 2017, most of the accidents of bullying were related to a child’s appearance (46%), nationality (17%), religion (12%), social status (10%), overweightness (9%), sexual orientation (5%) and other reasons (3%).
What is the reason for such a spread of bullying?
Like I said previously, one in every 5 children is a victim of bullying and the main reason for this is a lack of attention from society. Parents, teachers and social institutions - none of them react when a case of bullying takes place under their noses and such indifference causes encourage bullies and victims don’t believe anyone anymore - even the people they're supposed to look up to.
One example of bullying is Nick’s story (the name is changed):
"I was bullied since the first year at my school, by the boys in my class. From time to time, other boys in the school started paying attention to this and also started to bully me. Every day I was walking in the street with the fear that someone would tease me or scold me in the best case. Boys at school are always staring at me with disgust and criticize me. Their thoughts are probably something like, I want to kill this faggot’’ and it has been going on for ages. And there is no way out. When I tried to tell a teacher about the problem, that there is a lot of unfairness at school, they just started accusing me without even listening. I stopped asking for help was when I became a victim of physical violence at the school side and nobody reacted to this fact. Let’s forgive him one last time and he won’t repeat It again’’,said my school principal to defend the bully who beat me, and the headmaster of my class supports her. That was the only punishment for the bully and I eventually lost hope of a helping hand."
Unfortunately, the officials do not react in any way to improve the situation at schools in terms of bullying. That’s why nowadays, there are plenty of teachers who encourage bullying at school with comments like:
"Retards", "Shut up!", "Go and whisper into your mom’s ear", "How could the trash of the whole school get into my class?!", "What is this you’re wearing?!", "You fatass", "If only you were my son, I would teach you a lesson".
With these and many other other teasing comments, they become bullies themselves and also encourage the students in their class. This is the way bullying gets common and ingrains fake values in students. That you have to laugh at a boy wearing earrings, take a girl with a mini-skirt for a whore, compare an overweight guy to a cow etc.
"Are you girl to be wearing an earring?", "What kind of family are you being raised in?!", "What do you mean you don’t have a priest?!"
What is being done to solve the problem?
In fact, nothing is done to stop bullying. It’s obvious that bullying isn’t easy to overcome fast and easy, but It’s possible. In my opinion, we should take an example of other European countries that try to improve the understanding of bullying in society and don’t let a lot of other children experience the same suffering as I and other victims of bullying did. It’s worth mentioning that the countries where bullying rates are low (like Finland - they already have a comprehensive anti-bullying program in place called KiVa, a key measure of the program’s success is that 98% of the students whose bullying incidents were tackled by the school’s KiVa team said their situations improved; also Sweden, Denmark, and Germany), they have informed the society very carefully and that is the result of a careful and previously thought-out policy. Unfortunately, nowadays little or no attention is paid to that problem here in Georgia, which encourages it even more. To overcome the challenges of bullying, the integration of parents, schools, and government is essential, but unfortunately, this is how they react:
The officials avoid the problem and charge schools for it instead of providing training for teachers and encouraging students to improve the knowledge about bullying prevention. School principals act in the same way and charge teachers to prevent bullying - teachers who lack qualification and experience in the field or don’t understand that one offensive word can change the world of a child. And when a child has no hope of a helping hand from the school, he or she looks for it at home, where the answer they get from the parents is to deal with the problem on their own.
What should a child do when there is nobody to help him or her?