Consequences of Bullying in Schools: The Viewpoint of School Directors. Suggestions for Mitigating the Phenomenon - A Case Study of the District of Tirana
AbstractOne of the most important institutions which affects the development and education of individuals in society is the school. The territory of schools needs to be safe from any form of violence, including bullying. Bullying in itself is a phenomenon that is defined as a behavior which occurs when an individual or a certain group of individuals, taking advantage of their power or authority, seek to impose, persecute, abuse, or intimidate the weaker ones repeatedly (Dema, 2007). Given that various studies consider bullying to be quite widespread (Haka & Pervizi, 2007 and Boyle, 2003), central and local institutions in Albania but also school leaders, are committed to prevent and fight this phenomenon. The main purpose of this study is to identify the most typical cases and to give suggestions on how to cope with and avoid bullying at school. The selected research method is the qualitative one, using data triangulation, such as literature review, interviews with the directors and focus groups with schools in Tirana district which has about 40 percent of the population at the national level, with a total of 997,380 inhabitants (General Directorate of Status Civil, Ministry of Interior, March 2011). In this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 directors from 81 schools in the region of Tirana, including public and private schools, as well as a focus group with 5 directors and 5 security officers from schools with the highest number of students in the district of Tirana. The results of the study show that bullying is widespread in 80 percent of schools and the most present form of bullying is verbal and social, but the physical and cyber forms cannot be neglected. Bullying occurs in the form of student to student in 87 percent of cases, student to teacher in 47 percent of cases and teacher to student in 33 percent of cases. One of the most frequent variables of bullying is the educational level of parents with 33 percent and the family economic situation which accounts for 40 percent. The given results were generated from the analysis of data where 6 of the respondents answered that the family and its economic situation are both considered as determining factor in the emergence of bullying. How can such a phenomenon be prevented? The given study suggests: teachers training should be conducted, open hours with students, parents should be involved in these issues as part of the solution, building a close partnership with the school, meetings and awareness campaigns should be carried out between teachers, parents and students, also including other actors such as the psychologist and the security officer of the school.
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