Bullying at school

Bullying mainly occurs in children between the ages of 9 and 16. Bullying is a form of aggression in which you are repeatedly or prolongedly exposed to negative actions by one or more people. Bullying can cause psychological consequences later. Research shows that bullying is still a major problem in many schools. Fortunately, bullying is increasingly being put on the map, which means it is being talked about more. Since 2015, a lot has happened to combat bullying in schools. Schools are legally obliged to actively tackle bullying behavior. Many schools use methods to combat or prevent bullying. You can also achieve more through better communication between school, parent and child.


Many studies show that bullying is the rule rather than the exception in many schools. This often happens in large schools, where contact with the teacher is minimal. More methods are being used to reduce bullying. Good communication is very important in schools. If communication between parents, students and teachers is good, bullying can be tackled better and talked about more easily. Nowadays it is more difficult to find out who is responsible for the bullying. Digital bullying is becoming increasingly common. What is most common, according to research by Code Name Future, is verbal taunting in class (52%) and by ignoring and excluding a student (25%). Many young people also bully classmates via social media.

Ways to bully

  • To gossip
  • Push or poke
  • Make jokes
  • Laughing at you
  • Lock out
  • Swearing or making up swear names
  • Breaking or hiding things
  • Imitate or imitate
  • Bullying via social media or telephone
  • Physically


Consequences of bullying

If you are bullied, this can be harmful to your health. Some children can feel really sick. They have little desire to go to school and find it difficult to talk about it. The child’s school performance and self-confidence decreases. Sometimes they even start to believe what the bullies say. The rest of the class also suffers from the bullying. There is often an unpleasant atmosphere in the classroom and classmates often do not dare to say anything because they are afraid of being bullied themselves.

What can you as a child and/or parent do about this?

Most children do not tell their teacher that they are being bullied. This is often a huge barrier for children. Often a teacher does not notice that bullying is taking place. It is important to tell someone at school, but always in consultation with the child. Perhaps with someone the child trusts or feels comfortable with. Think of a teacher, a counselor at school or even an intern or janitor. Share what’s bothering you and maybe even write it down. Tell them that it is important and how you feel about it.

What can school do?

Schools are obliged to protect their students and staff against all forms of violence, including bullying. This is stated in the Arbo Act. In addition, the collective labor agreement stipulates that every school must have a safety plan. Part of this plan is the anti-bullying protocol. Such a protocol gives children, teachers and parents clarity about how to deal with bullying.

  • Offer a listening ear
  • Make it safer
  • Keep an eye on things. Take action if necessary and punish the bully.
  • Talking about bullying in class, for example through group discussions. This can simply be done in general and it does not have to be about the child in question.
  • Consult with parents/guardians
  • Talk to the bullies
  • Prevent bullying behavior


Methods at school

A number of methods used at school:

Champion training

This is a training for children who are not feeling well or find it difficult to make contact with others. The aim is to give the child more self-confidence and to be able to deal with his/her feelings better.

Method M5

This approach focuses on the bully. The M5 stands for the concepts of reporting, measuring, measures, customization and human.
It helps to tackle the bullying problem and increase the safety of the bullied.

PRIMA method

This PRIMA method (Trial implementation of Anti-Bullying Policy in primary schools) is widely used in many primary schools in the Netherlands. The aim of this method is to reduce and prevent bullying behavior. Schools are guided for at least two years in introducing an anti-bullying policy and setting up a school-wide parent evening.

KIVA method

KIVA is a Finnish standard anti-bullying program. Kiva is a Finnish word and means nice or nice. It is a preventive program that tackles bullying before it starts.KiVa program. KiVa is a proven effective anti-bullying program. KiVa was developed at the University of Turku, Finland. KiVa is now the standard in Finland; more than 90% of primary schools use the program to combat bullying. KiVa won the European Crime Prevention Award in 2009.

Bullying web for students

Students who need help with bullying can contact Pestweb for all their questions. They can chat anonymously with an employee or share their experiences with others via a forum.

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