Bullying and discrimination

⌚︎ 3 min.


Case study

Bullying and discrimination

Kind of education

Vocational secondary school

Definition of the learner

A young boy from a socially vulnerable context, who is also not very successful in school.

Description of the group

A mixed group of girls and boys, aged 15-16.

Definition of starting situation

Tim is a young boy that is physically and psychologically abused by a group of male colleagues from his school. Tim suffers consecutive assaults, but he chooses to stay silent beacuse of the fear and anxiety that the situations incite in him. Apart from the support he receives from a psychologist, Tim has no support from his family, especially none from his father, which further discourages him from disclosing his attacker.

Description of teaching team

Typical teach team of a vocational secondary school.

Possible actions and impacts

Tim decided to not ask for help because he was afraid of the possible retaliations by the perpetrators. One day, some classmates saw Tim being beaten and asked a member of the school staff to help. The perpetrators ran away when they realised that someone was coming.

Following this incident the school principal pressured Tim to give up the names of the boys who bullied him, which he eventually did.

Tim was encouraged to attend sessions with a psychologist. As regards the bullies, the school undertook a plan together with their teachers and families to stop their violent behaviour. The boys were punished with community service at the school and in the local community, and also began attending therapy sessions with a psychologist, to change their violent behaviour.

Tim was not bullied again by the same boys. Working with a psychologist helped him to become more confident in the future. He was not the subject of bullying anymore.

Despite the aggression, the fear, and the anxiety that the perpetrators incited in Tim, he never gave up their names.

Seeing no end to the situation, Tim committed suicide.



Advice, remarks, conclusions

Regarding the issue of bullying, it is important for educators to:

  • articulate measures coordinating schools with other stakeholders in the education field, to prevent bullying and paths of violence,
  • act upon first signs of bullying,
  • act against discrimination, by intervening with both the victims and the perpetrators of bullying, to keep them from isolation, discrimination or marginalisation,
  • develop collaborative work to end violence in schools (physical and psychological),
  • promote, at the school level, prevention actions and awareness sessions about bullying and its implications,
  • acquire more knowledge and information about bullying and its causes,
  • report possible bullying situations to the students' families, when appropriate,
  • integrate into the school curricula the theme of bullying, where the contents provide a good frame for discussion,
  • focus on the importance of disclosing acts of bullying, as a way of helping the victims and to work on the issue with the perpetrators.

Note: This case is based on the short film Dear Dad – Anti Bulling Short Film (© MoonEyeFilms).

Physical and psychological violence