Are children bullied in Catholic schools

“I'm worthless”, “I'm afraid to go to this school”, “I just don't want to anymore.” Pupils who are bullied react with these or similar thoughts to a situation that is often depressing for them.

The term mobbing comes from the English and means something like "mob, get ready". Bullying is a form of subtle violence against people over a long period of time. It's about social exclusion. This can be verbal and / or physical violence. Bullying aims to humiliate other people.

According to a survey by Erika Vieregg, University of Graz, more than one in ten schoolchildren is bullied. According to an online survey conducted by the Center for Empirical Studies at the University of Landau, every second student out of 2,000 pupils surveyed was bullyed within the last two months. Boys are more often affected than girls in both the victim and perpetrator role. Bullying occurs at almost all ages. In the first years of school, skill and sportiness are more decisive for belonging to a group. In older grades, provocative behavior, branded clothing, fashion trends or the possession of technology increasingly determine the level of a child.

It usually starts out seemingly harmless with everyday ugliness, stupid sayings, devaluations or insults. In the further course of the process, the creeping devaluation and harassment is then underestimated by many. At best, cases in which a considerable amount of physical violence is used become known.

There are many forms of bullying. The following humiliations, however, are typical and occur either as it is or modified in many acts of bullying among children and adolescents.

  • Notebooks or other school materials disappear.
  • A student is badly talked about behind the back.
  • Children who show solidarity with the victim of bullying are put under pressure.
  • Humiliations are written on pieces of paper or emailed and passed around in class, or sent to everyone via cell phone.
  • Sexual defamation plays a major role after a certain age.
  • Clothes or the bike will be damaged.
  • The victim of bullying is threatened with violence.
  • Often there are even physical attacks.
  • Money and other services can also be extorted.
  • Cyberbullying on the Internet brings with it the risk that the devaluation of people is anonymous and multiplied.

What is new is the gossip (and the falsification of photos) in Internet forums and social communities like Facebook. This type of public devaluation can also take place when evaluating teachers, e.g. on the website "spick mich". It is particularly critical here that one no longer expresses one's personal assessments of the behavior of other people directly in social contact, but in the protected and anonymous space of the Internet. There everyone can read along and comment on it.

The possibilities of social exclusion in everyday life are diverse. In addition: classmates distance themselves and withhold information, so that the victim becomes increasingly isolated. You refuse to say hello, distribute "defamation" over the Internet, harass someone because of clothing or behavior ...
The pupils concerned, in turn, often look for the "problem" in themselves and thus become increasingly socially isolated, which in turn weakens them ... a vicious circle develops. Seldom do they tell their parents or teachers about the agony they go through every day.

Do it Fear and looking away Bullying is only possible. Adults sometimes take a long time to correctly interpret signs such as reluctance to go to school, morning stomach pain, nightmares, common illnesses or damaged school supplies. And when they realize the seriousness of the situation, they often react at a loss. Many adults do not know that bullying can hurt children and young people emotionally and physically ... and make well-intentioned (but unsuitable) suggestions ...

"The worst and wrong thing you can do is not do anything at all", says the 12-year-old Leonie. Let us take this sentence as an invitation to take a look, to address things, to interfere - even if we are not making ourselves popular with it. Other students can take responsibility for their classmates, because this is the only way to get together in daily life. In simple cases it can also be helpful to use so-called mediators in schools.

But sometimes it belongs to one overcoming to confide in parents, teachers, or other people. Especially when it comes to the topic of “exclusion”, those affected are concerned that their need is not taken seriously as self-inflicted or that their attitude is disqualified as squeamish. We therefore hope that all those affected have the courage to seek help when necessary.
Bullying is not a trivial matter, but can in the normal case be emotionally hurtful and in the worst case lead to suicidal thoughts when it comes to so-called "psychological terror". Bullying is humiliating and degrading - that alone is bad enough.

All of this also applies to that Cyberbullying on the Internet. Anyone who places "bad gossip" about other children and young people on the Internet and does not identify themselves in the process must be clear about what they are doing. Insults on the Internet are just as effective as devaluations that are pronounced directly. The victims of bullying on the Internet often feel that they cannot defend themselves. In extreme cases, this can lead to an experience of despair. Anyone who feels they have been treated unfairly should have a conversation with other trustworthy young people or adults as soon as possible.

Not every hostile expression is associated with bullying to equate, what is important is the targeted repetition of the devaluation, exclusion, and humiliation. This can be done by teasing, threatening, insulting, belittling, exposing, damaging reputation, chilling out and similar behaviors. All of this is likely to impair or break the trust of children and young people in themselves and their environment. This is followed by isolation, reluctance to attend school, a decline in performance - it can also lead to sleep disorders, headache or stomach ache, loss of appetite, etc. All of these can be possible Signals for bullying experiences be.

In some cases, having children change classes or schools can also help. However, that alone is not enough. Bullying can often only be resolved if it becomes a common topic with teachers, students and parents and binding rules of conduct are introduced for all those involved, which ensure mutual respect.

"Pay attention instead of ostracism" That was the 2008 annual motto of Caritas. A person who is respected and respected flourishes. A person who is despised or ostracized perishes. This is especially true for children and adolescents - but no less for adults. (There is bullying not only in school - but also in the professional world).

Everyone is important. Every student has a dignity that no one is allowed to trample - neither in school, on the Internet or anywhere else.

The counseling centers offer their support to parents, children, young people and teachers.

Further information and help from Caritas - the fastest way to advice and help:

www.beratung-caritasnet.de
www.schulpsychologie.de
www.bmfsfj.de/cybermobbing

Other internet addresses:
www.schueler-mobbing.de

Teens are better than their reputation:
www.starkohnegewalt.de

Information for professionals:
www.konflikt-kultur-freiburg.de
www.bmfsfj.de/cybermobbing

Book Notes:

Antje Szillat:
Motive: fear
Edition Zweihorn, 2008

Antje Szillat:
Alice on the net
Edition Zwiehorn, 2010

Kirsten Boie:
Not Chicago. Not here.
Oetinger publishing house

Working group for children and youth protection NRW:
Bullying among children and adolescents
www.ajs.nrw.de
www.drei-w-verlag.de

Karl Gebauer:
Bullying in school
Beltz Verlag 2007


Johannes Böhnke
Graduated social pedagogue, Cologne
Johannes Boehnke (at) caritasnet.de

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