Prague schools take on bullying

The city is active in a multinational project to tackle the problem

Prague has set its eyes on battling against bullying. Two city-based agencies participated in the conference that was part of the two-year project called Build Future - Stop Bullying, held in Rome at the end of June. The city will have its own conference in September.

It focused on exchanging information on preventing and tackling bullying in schools. Prague was represented by the Center for Social Services Prague (Centrum sociálních služeb Praha) and the Prague Center for Primary Prevention (Pražské centrum primární prevence).

The project has been primarily focused on international collaboration and sharing of knowledge about bullying prevention and resolution. The focus is predominantly on primary prevention programs for students aged 12-14, teacher seminars and workshops for parents. In total, 22 schools from four partner countries — Italy, Greece, Spain, Czech Republic — have participated in the project.

“I am glad that Prague has been actively involved in this project because children can bear the consequences of bullying for life. The challenge for the future is to maintain similarly extensive and comprehensive programs of primary prevention of bullying and spread them to other schools,” Prague City Councilor Daniel Hodek said on the City Hall website.

Tomáš Ján, director of the Social Services Center in Prague, said that in prevention, it is desirable to take into account current phenomena such as cyberbullying, focusing on working with stereotypes and prejudices. “It is also important to raise awareness among local government coordinators, institutions, and school heads who may be concerned about the stigma of a school where bullying occurs. As part of a nationwide campaign to prevent bullying at school, we decided to hold a conference in September for experts in the field. Bullying can occur at every school, we cannot hide it, we must be ready to solve it,” he added.

According to the World Health Organization, bullying is a multifaceted form of mistreatment, mostly seen in schools and the workplace. It is characterized by the repeated exposure of one person to physical and/or emotional aggression including teasing, name-calling, mockery, threats, harassment, taunting, hazing, social exclusion or rumors.

For more about the Build Future - Stop Bullying project at www.buildfuture-stopbullying.eu.

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