It is sad to acknowledge that Denmark in 2015 has a school system where thousands of pupils are being bullied every single day. What makes it even more sad is that it is not only a problem in the Danish school system. Nor is it isolated to the European school systems. This is a worldwide problem that is now on almost any school’s agenda. It is time consuming, frustruating for the involved parties, it is expensive to overcome and can cause a lot of damage to the pupils experiencing bullying. Eventhough there has been decreases in Denmark this is a problem that for sure does not solve itself. The subject of bullying still needs a whole lot of attention, action and initiatives to overcome.
“Have you been bullied during this school year?”
In the perfect world every single pupil all around the world would be able to answer “no” to this question. Unfortunately this is not the case for a lot of pupils. In 2013 this applied to a shocking 49 % of pupils in the 0th-3rd grade, 20 % of pupils in the 4th-6th grade and to 12 % of pupils in 7th-10th grade in Denmark – and this is, what is more, the decreased numbers from Denmark! Looking a bit more varied into these numbers you will see that most of these pupils “only” have experienced being bullied a few times during a school year. In the oth-3rd grade it is around 9 % and in the 4th-6th grade it is around 5 % who feel they are being bullied on an everyday, weekly or monthly basis. The number for 7th-10th graders is around 3 % (http://dcum.dk/nyheder/nye-tal-mobning-lever-i-bedste-velgaaende). This is luckily not as bad as you could have dreaded. The numbers from Denmark may not seem disturbingly high – but nevertheless the issue still concerns thousands of pupils and there is still a need for an even bigger decrease before more pupils will feel comfortable in school.
In 2008 the Danish Department of Education and Science financed a major campaign to overcome bullying in public schools. The aim with this campaign is to get more schools to express an efficient policy against bullying and continuously and systematically work with it (this is an ongoing campaign which I will write more about in later posts). However that may be it seems to have an effect in the Danish schools to define and express a policy, which made me think; are we good enough to express the appearance of bullying? In every pamphlet, on every webpage and in every book concerning bullying you will find a clear definition on bullying. But I keep hearing from teachers, pedagogues and other professionals I know – and I even read it another post in this forum – that bullying can be difficult to recognize in real life. It seems to be a widespread issue, which seems strange considering the clear definitions we seem to have on bullying. For me this sounds very essential in the fight against bullying. Therefore this is something that my next post will take a look at; why is bullying difficult to recognize in real life? Do we need another definition of bullying?