When we talk about systemic and symbolic violence, and bullying is at both levels, beyond figures, statistics and numbers, it is necessary to observe and study the profiles of the victims, the motivations of those who attack, the message of “valid social group” that is launched with the aggression and what are the “hot issues” in the political situation. School bullying, which too many people still insist on normalizing with “it’s children’s things” or “this has always happened”, contains a clear and direct message that the problem is not just for “children”, or Failing that, from their families. But, as is often said, it is much easier (and less controversial) to look at the finger than to point at the moon, that is, to see to what extent the culture of indifference, lack of empathy, individualism, the precariousness of life and the fragility of the links may be influencing a problem as serious as bullying.
School bullying is a symptom of how girls and boys (from a certain age) do not see otherness, diversity, difference, fragility as something to protect, value and attend to. School bullying, which is talked about so much these days, like other structural violence, needs to be tackled in all its complexity, also connecting it with the political, economic, social and sexual order in which we are immersed and which promotes a lifestyle superficial, capitalist and aggressive that deepens inequalities and feeds discrimination. It is simplistic to reduce harassment only to a criminalization-victimization when Saray, the girl (10 years old) who attempted suicide, was harassed by “her equals” for being an immigrant, or when Izán (11 years old) was mocked for her physical appearance; or when an 11-year-old girl from a school in Jaén was insulted and humiliated for being trans. The motivations behind these attacks have to do, unfortunately, with the political situation and anti-rights currents. That is why it is urgent, although it sounds like always, to educate in citizen coexistence, that should be the greatest urgency to deal with school violence, a State Pact against bullying.
There is a risk of falling into gimmicky but useless solutions if the underlying problem is not addressed. It is not about more punitiveness, but about better education, more education (if possible, be public, accessible and also for adults). It is not just a question of pointing out the authors of the acts, instilling guilt in the complicit witnesses or having a compassionate attitude towards the victim. School bullying is a symptom of something much deeper that not even the best of welfare coordinators will be able to address if we do not understand that it is connected to a supremacism that permeates our society and that indoctrinates about who are tolerable “others” and who are not. they are, about which lives are the ones that are worth and which are the ones that one can make fun of.
School bullying is the children’s version of hate incidents, in fact, it can be reported as such. It is racism, ableism, machismo, sexism, transphobia, antigypsyism, fatphobia, classism, homophobia, etc. what is behind the insults, the mockery, the mockery, the aggression… of the indirect and direct violence exerted by beings who have barely been in the world for more or less a decade. Let’s seriously ask ourselves what is happening, let’s ask it more specifically to politicians, journalists and influencers, to those who create “culture”. If we overlook the importance of the issue, it is possible that there are educational centers, that the school runs the risk of becoming a training ground on how to exercise domination and at the same time be popular, when it should be and we all hope that it will be a space meeting and learning where, among others, the right to education and to play, the right to grow up happily materialize. That’s what childhood is about, right?