Mediation: this applies to bullying

The concern and social alarm that bullying provokes, as well as the fact of the increase and proliferation of plans of prevention and intervention in this problem, has turned and is unfortunately becoming an authentic social scourge.

Among the possible methods to solve bullying or bullying, highlights the use of mediation to address bullying. But what is the meaning of mediation and in what contexts is this method of prevention, management and conflict resolution for bullying applicable?

We start from the fact that not every conflict is mediable. This is so because each conflict has its own history and nature, an origin that explains the birth of it, and, above all, the factors that triggered it; in the same way, that each conflict has its intrahistory, also its solution and, therefore, the existence of different applicable methods.

The professionals of these methodologies speak of escalating the conflict, and according to their own characteristics and degree of intensity, various techniques will be used, such as facilitation, mediation, conciliation, negotiation, arbitration and judgment.

Bullying: is it possible to mediate between the parties?

The application of mediation is based on the fact that the parties to the conflict reach an agreement on their own, in such a way that it satisfies both, that is, under the win - win principle, a process that is subtly conducted by a professional. is the mediator, but leaving, always and in any case, the protagonism to the parties, since they are the ones who know best their problem and, therefore, also their solution.

Thus, the parties to the conflict are on an equal footing, a prerequisite for a mediation process to be carried out, and without implicit violence or use of it in any of its forms, since it is difficult to an agreement can be reached in these conditions, which would go against the very essence of the process, that is, equality and respect between the parties; on the other hand, Mediation makes sense when the parties want to maintain the relationship or contact between them, otherwise, it does not make sense to use this method.

Mediation and its drawbacks in bullying

However, the intrinsic characteristics of bullying or bullying, the application of the technique of mediation is discouraged.

First of all, bullying is behavior based on the harassment, physical or psychological abuse and constant intimidation that it is directed to the victim, repeatedly and lastingly over time, whose effects can be harmful to the health of the child being harassed, ending up in suicide.

These serious effects are increased with the use of internet and social networks, since the number of spectators is increased, the damage caused is greater and the harassment is accentuated, being present at any time and 24 hours a day.

Therefore, in these circumstances, obviously there is no equality situation, but of deep imbalance and predominance of one of the minors over the other, that is, aggressor against victim; On the other hand, employment of violence, in any of its forms, is a main element in harassment behaviors, so we would not be faced with a typical case of conflict, because it is not; but clearly a form of victimization and recurrent use of violence to achieve specific ends.

Now, the school mediation or peer mediation programs they are a common strategy used in many educational centers in Spain, showing themselves to be highly effective so that young people acquire skills for the resolution of their conflicts and the improvement of coexistence in school, but in any case for minor, daily and low intensity conflicts .

However, these methods of conflict resolution are very valid and advisable from a preventive approach, since students trained and trained in their own skills and characteristics of mediation acquire tools to solve their conflicts peacefully.

In this way, in the event of possible cases of bullying, these "student mediators" they will be better able to detect these behaviors, possessing more resources to denounce and deal with these situations, not giving rise to the appearance of the so-called observers, bystanders or passive witnesses of the harassment; and what is even more important, in those centers where the culture of mediation is installed, favors and favors the principles of equality, respect, coexistence and good treatment among the students of the center, which will drastically reduce the rates of school harassment.

Ricardo Lombardero Calzón. Lawyer, Mediator and Coach.Cofounder of Lomber Soluciones Cyberbullying

Video: How To Mediate With a Bully

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