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The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Arie Slob kicked off The Week Against Bullying in Utrecht on Monday September 16 by talking to pupils in one of Utrecht’s primary schools about the subject.
Even though the problem of bullying in schools has received a lot of attention recently, children still do not always feel comfortable in approaching their teachers. The Week Against Bullying this year will focus on raising the awareness of teachers to the problem.
According to the organisation, about a thousand primary schools in the Netherlands are taking part in the initiative.
This year’s theme is ‘Show Yourself. A spokesperson for De stichting School en Veiligheid (Foundation for School and Safety), which organises the event each year in September, talked about the importance of children learning to approach their teacher when they are being bullied.
The first week after the summer holidays are an important period as this is the key time for when friendships are made in a class. The children have to learn how to deal with each other and this can be a very difficult time as many of us know from our own School days.
According to the organisation, the recognition of bullying behaviour in class is still very complicated. It has always been this way, even before mobile phones and social media. It also takes place in school corridors and at the playgrounds outside the teachers’ view. Teachers are not responsible for this happening, but must nevertheless offer a safe space to talk about it. There should exist a trusting relationship; the teachers should invest in it. Only when children know that the teachers really care about them, will they be able to approach them when something happens.
The Foundation for School and Safety notes that the focus on bullying has increased enormously in recent years and this can only be a good thing if we are going to make a change
Image source: Pixabay
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