No one has the right to hurt you!
What to do if you are being bullied?
We believe that bullying happens when anyone behaves in such a way that the person’s goal is to harm, intimidate or threaten a child, and the action is targeted and repeated. Bullying can be done by one person against another person or by several people against one person, either collectively or individually. Bullying can be both physical or psychological.
Are you or your child being bullied? What to do?
We talk about bullying when one or more schoolmates intentionally, usually repeatedly, harms others. This means that there is someone who thinks they have more power than you, against whom you cannot defend yourself, who does unpleasant things to you, humiliates you and does things that hurt you psychologically. They may swear at you, hide things from you, slander you and conspire against you, convince their classmates to ignore you or not talk to you, threaten you, etc. Physically, for example, the person may hit you with an elbow or kick you, slap you or hit you as if it’s a joke, but you don’t find it pleasant. Bullying has several degrees, from the most innocent, such as taunts and slander, to physical fights and organised crime. Various levels include various activities, such as manipulation, physical violence, creating a group against someone, leading up to perfect bullying: dividing students into aggressors and victims (who carry out, for example, violence in the form of physical fights, which they consider “fun”).
There is also a phenomenon where a bullied person thinks it is them who have a problem and excuses the aggressor (bully) for their behaviour. It is your right to refuse if a teacher or other staff member wants you to talk about your “pain” in front of the student who is causing it to you. This could end up with you belittling your mental and physical pain in front of them, or defending them by saying that they didn’t mean it that way (perhaps you don’t want to “betray” them). Remember that something bad is happening to you, not to them.
Bullying is a form of abuse. A culprit is both the person who bullies as well as anyone who participates in the bullying, e.g. by watching what is happening to the bullied person. If the bystander doesn’t call out such behaviour, they can be considered a co-bully.
Prevention against bullying is very important, and you can help with this. How? By making your peers aware of what bullying is and explaining to them that it is wrong to hurt others.
Bullying does not only occur among students. It can also be done by teachers to students and vice versa.
What to do if you are being bullied?
Confide in an adult
Don’t let bullying bring you down: the behaviour of others towards you is not your fault. Confide in an adult of your choice and who you trust to help you (parents, class teacher, school psychologist, coach, social educator, educational counsellor, sibling or any other adult you trust).
If you cannot find the person you trust, you are scared, or fear has completely taken over you, you can use the information below to call, e-mail and chat with professionals who will help you.
You or your parents should contact the principal of your school
If the person you turned to does not know how to help you or simply does not come up with a solution and you are still bullied, you or your parents should contact the principal of your school. The school you attend is obliged to address bullying and cannot just ignore it.
You and your parents can read these useful documents: Smernica č. 36/2018 k prevencii a riešeniu šikanovania detí a žiakov v školách a školských zariadeniach a AKČNÝ PLÁN RIEŠENIA ŠIKANOVANIA V ŠKOLÁCH A ŠKOLSKÝCH ZARIADENIACH NA ROKY 2022 – 2023 on the website of the Ministry of Education on how the school should proceed after unacceptable behaviour and bullying have been detected.
Parents should contact the State School Inspection or the School Inspection Centre
If even the school principal does not help you and you continue being bullied, it is necessary for your parents to contact the State School Inspectorate based in Bratislava, or the School Inspection Centre (this is the inspectorate in your region of permanent residence). With your help, they should write a complaint and describe what is happening to you, how they think your rights are being violated, and why they are certain that you are being bullied.
Contact the Commissioner for Children
If nothing changes and the bullying continues even after your parents have contacted the inspectorate, it is time to contact the Commissioner for Children.
CHILD SAFETY LINE – LINKA DETSKEJ ISTOTY
- 24/7 telephone help at number 116 111
- E-mail help at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chat help every business day from 6 pm to 10 pm at ldi.sk
- Specialised help at LDI – Child Safety Line for missing, abused or homeless children at number 116 000
CHILD TRUST LINE – LINKA DETSKEJ DÔVERY
- Telephone help every business day from 2 pm to 8 pm at number 0907 401 749
- E-mail help at email@example.com
- Chat help every business day from 2 pm to 7 pm at linkadeti.sk
- Peer to peer help “Children advise children” on linkadeti.sk
NATIONAL HELP LINE FOR CHILDREN IN DISTRESS
If a parent believes that the bullying to their child is a criminal offence, we recommend that they directly contact law enforcement authorities – the nearest police department in the place of permanent residence.
How can the Commissioner for Children help you when you are bullied?
I will familiarise myself with everything that has been done for you by your parents, class teacher, school psychologist, social educator, educational counsellor or selected adult person at school or elsewhere that you turned to. I will independently examine (no one can influence my assessment) what has happened to you and who and what has been helpful to you. I am also interested in how the school and the teachers lead students in preventing bullying, and if there is even the lowest level of bullying at school, how and what they have done to prevent it from happening (e.g. Do all the experts at the school work with the student and the class? Has any help from the police, healthcare and other experts been requested?).
You may find it interesting that it is helpful to have a note from the class teacher documenting that you informed them about what was happening to you. When parents visit the class teacher and/or the school principal, they should ask for the minutes of their meeting about reporting and addressing indecent behaviour towards you.
The Commissioner for Children listens to what troubles children, and he closely cooperates with all institutions in the educational environment – kindergartens, primary schools and other schools, founders of schools, State School Inspection, pedagogical-psychological counselling and prevention centres, special pedagogical counselling centres, non-profit organisations, civil associations, scientific and research organisations, and other legal and natural persons working in monitoring the best interests of children. He is authorised to request information from them in order to assess a complaint he received. He does not, however, have the power to order an inspection to be carried out in the school.