Despite the schools being responsible for tackling bullying in Denmark, over one third of public schools have yet to devise an anti-bullying strategy as the law dictates.
Figures compiled by child aid organisation Red Barnet, in co-operation with the national school board organisation Skole og Forældre, showed that 36 percent of public schools have no anti-bullying strategy.
“We’ve spoken with students and teachers at schools that don’t have an anti-bullying strategy,” Naja Kinch Sohn, a project co-ordinator with Red Barnet, told Politiken newspaper.
“They explain they don’t feel prepared to tackle bullying. One of the steps is to take joint responsibility for bullying and ensure that everyone at school – teachers, students, pedagogues, parents and the leadership – know what to do when it occurs.”
Bully up, it’s the law
The figures, based on answers from 316 school board chairpersons, also showed that 57 percent of the schools have an anti-bullying strategy, while 7 percent were unsure whether they had one.
Many who didn’t have one said they had a value system at the school concerning bullying, but that’s not enough, according to Helle Rabøl Hansen, a researcher on bullying at the Danish School of Education at Aarhus University.
“Having an anti-bullying strategy sends a very strong signal, and there is a strong commitment in that,” Hansen said. “It’s not just a question of whether the schools want one. They must have one.”