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Belgium: Ligue des Familles launches report on bullying in schools

COFACE Member La Ligue des Familles have recently launched the report “Bullying in school: It doesn’t have to be that way”. The Belgian family organisation aims to improve the life of families by transforming our social structures and representations. In this dynamic, they are developing expertise on a range of subjects that respond to the interests of parents. Among these interests, the problem of harassment at school is particularly difficult for parents. In fact, the logic of co-education (parent-school) that underlies the current functioning of the school system implies that each one participates in the child’s education, while remaining in its place. However, the lack of efficient management of the problem of harassment by schools makes it particularly unbearable for parents not to be able to interfere in the life of the school. Schools must therefore be able to guarantee parents that when their children attend school or when they are required to use digital media as part of their compulsory schooling, they do so without risk of suffering any form of visible or invisible violence. It is also in the interest of the school, because there is no learning possible when there is a fear for its safety.

School bullying is a problem that, in order to grasp it, requires the tools and concepts of psychology. However, La Ligue des Familles is not a psychology insitution. Others have this expertise. The bias of this analysis is to transform this expertise into a reform project, into policy. Consequently, both the findings and the solutions are based on the work carried out by the Centre d’étude et de recherche en Inclusion Sociale of the University of Mons on the initiative of Professor Bruno Humbeeck. The Ligue des familles has also collaborated with him in carrying out this analysis.

The report has three main chapters:

  • Outlining the problem which includes among others the definition of harassment, the synergy of the stalker, harasser, witness trio, cyberbullying and harassment and the law.
  • Secondly, the focus is on how to tackle bullying. The report explains anti-harassment legislation, rules for territorial control and more.
  • Titled “Moving from solution to reform” the last part Ligue des Familles calls to integrate relevant tool, which are laid out in the precious chapter, train teachers and adopt strong and ambitious legislation in this area.

Read the full report (in French) here: https://www.laligue.be/Files/media/520000/520129/fre/20210112-harcelement-a-lecole.pdf

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