School bullying

Friday, 01 October 2010

Nordic Forum: Bullying – School, Home, Internet, 7th and 8th of February 2008 in Tallinn University. The aim of the Forum was to explain the nature of bullying and school violence, the need of prevention and intervention, to share international experience when dealing with the issues. The Forum was organized by the Estonian Society for Child Welfare, with NGO-support from NCM.

In the Nordic countries bullying has been an issue for the last 20-30 years or so and the problem has been extensively debated. We have expertise with thorough knowledge of how to deal with the problems, especially in a school environment, but bullying at work places has also been tackled. This does not, however, indicate that all problems are solved.

I recently read, to my mind, an excellent theory of the roots of bullying by a Swedish psychologist, Inga-Lill Roos, Energitjuvar, Energy thieves. Children and adults react to unsolved problems in their families by projecting them to innocent others, thus hoping the problems will simply disappear. Consequently, an almost narcissist behaviour will create energy thieves, who consume other people's energy, targeting especially those who may react to the same kind of problems by projecting them inwards. I am confident the experts in this conference will elaborate and shed more light on the issue.

Competitiveness is one of the main themes of the Swedish chairmanship of the Nordic Council of Ministers this year. On a grass root level, in schools and enterprises, energy matters. Tackling bullying as a hindrance to mastering education of the work force by seeing to it that the atmosphere in schools and at work does not prevent some people from performing at their best, because they cannot develop a sound self confidence due to bullying, is essential to the competitiveness and well-being of citizens.

Carita Pettersson
Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Estonia

The Nordic Council of Ministers´ Office initially supported the conference on school bullying in Tallinn from its budget for NGO-activity in Estonia. One of the aims of the NGO-programme is to encourage private citizen initiatives and NGO-cooperation, contributing to the cohesion of our region. Thus, the seminar is a cooperation project between the Estonian Union for Child Welfare, and similar organizations in several Nordic countries and the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research.

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