Bullying is emotional or physical abuse that is deliberate and enduring. The campaign hopes that sharing stories will help decrease instances of bullying. Cases of bullying are found as early as kindergarten, and the consequences can be very serious, even leading to suicide, if it continues throught school and beyond, said campaign organizers.
The campaign has also developed suggestions for teachers, parents and children to follow:
Recognize - behavioral changes in children who are suffering from bullying, whether it's an eating disorder, bad grades or not wanting to go to school.
Say - say to the bully how the victim feels, that help will be sought, onlookers can defend the victim, help the victim, make their stance known to the bully.
Activate - school psychologists, social educators, police, crisis hotline, teen resource center and other places to look for help.
Help – the victims to openly talk about what they experienced.
“Of course I was beaten at school. You can say that you grow a thicker skin, but does that happen for everyone?” said TV show host and campaign organizer Kaspars Ozoliņš.
Campaign co-founder Marika Andžāne said that adults frequently don't know what's the best advice to give to kids for what to do in cases of bullying. That's why they have to ask for help, they shouldn't stay silent.
The statistics are clear. Among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and European Union countries Latvia is the leader in school bullying. The international OECD PISA study for 2018 isn't positive, as Latvia moved from second to first place.
The campaign aims to attract public attention to the situation and cooperate with schools to share bullying stories both from victims and perpetrators, and bullying can leave lasting scars even in adults. Have you been the victim, perpetrator or onlooker in cases of bullying?
- What was your experience like?
- What helped you stop the bullying, or why did you stop bullying others?
- What would you suggest to do in cases of bullying?
Share your story on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #Neklusē to encourage students to seek help in cases of bullying!