Bullying increases by 20% per year in Spain
Serious cases of bullying increase every year in Spain by 20% annually, registering only last year, a total of 1,475 serious cases. This situation has occurred in recent years in terms of prevention, training and evolution of school mediation, as reflected in the Report School Mediation as a method of conflict resolution in classrooms prepared by the International University of Valencia (VIU).
In this report, prepared by Antonia Martí Aras, a collaborating professor of the Master's Degree in Psychopedagogy and an expert on adolescent violence, the need for the use of mediation and the existence of coexistence teams that encourage learning and the peaceful resolution of violence in the classrooms. We understand school mediation as "an instrument that promotes the peaceful resolution of conflicts within schools and that is regulated within the plan of coexistence of each center" as indicated by the expert from the International University of Valencia.
In this sense, and taking into account the most important purpose, the author emphasizes that "the number of interventions in the school population has significantly increased, aimed basically at modifying students' aggressive behavior and at regaining the authority figure of the teacher". In addition, he points out that conflict is part of human behavior and that it arises from situations in which opposition and contradiction enter, both of interests and needs, values and desires.
That is why Antonia Martí proposes some ways to approach the conflict: the overcoming, when there is a will to overcome it, the negation of the problem, when it avoids recognizing its existence, the avoidance, when we know its existence but there is no desire to cope, the accommodation, when we recognize the existence of the problem but there is no will to respond to it, settling the problem and adapting to it, and finally, aggressiveness, when there is a violent response to combat the problem.
For this, there are ways to address it and different possibilities that will allow the construction of opportunities for personal growth and change, "we will be talking about negotiation when the people involved in the conflict are able to dialogue to reach an agreement," says the expert. Another way of managing the conflict is through arbitration, that is, "entrusting the search for solutions to a third party, called a conciliator that offers proposals for resolution," said the professor at the International University of Valencia.
Finally, the current situation indicates that school mediation has no place without specific training that enables mediators in the development of a correct resolution process and the use of specific guidelines to be followed within it and whose ultimate aims to pursue are to be directed to manage the conflict in a positive and creative way, foster a climate of dialogue, tolerance and cooperation in the school community, prevent the chronification of problems and the appearance of violence. Despite the fact that in the 1990s school mediation programs began to be implemented in some autonomous communities, the data is not very encouraging since in communities such as Andalusia, only mediation was resorted to in less than 2% of behaviors contrary to the coexistence.
PROFILE OF THE YOUNGEST BULLYING VICTIMS
Some studies identify a series of psychological characteristics or attitudes and behavior common to victims of bullying. But, unfortunately, any student can become the target of the mockery of a group of aggressors, often for no other reason than pure chance. However, there are some factors that multiply the chances of suffering harassment, such as, suffer some physical or mental disability, have some type of learning disorder, especially problems related to oral language because they are very obvious and easily teased, have suffered bullying before or belong to an ethnic, religious, cultural or minority sexual orientation group.
In addition, once the harassment has begun, having an introverted or reserved personality or poor communication with parents or teachers makes it difficult for the children to report situations on time, with the consequent danger that the harassment will go further, aggravating its consequences and complicating its resolution.