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“We must make bullying a priority for the French Presidency of the EU”

The cross : The Senate report is the second in a year on bullying at school, after that of deputy Erwan Balanant, in October 2020. What does it bring new?

Colette Mélot: The report of the Senate is completely different from that of the National Assembly which rather privileged the legal angle. We first based ourselves on an observation and then we made more stringent recommendations to prevent, detect and deal with harassment in a perhaps more pragmatic way.

→ PORTRAIT. Jonathan Destin testifies against harassment

For the past ten years or so, all governments have taken up the issue without succeeding in containing it. What is not working?

CM: Yes, the different governments haveimplemented anti-harassment systems, but France was far behind other countries, especially the Scandinavian countries. Today, the tools exist but we see that they are not used. For example, there are two telephone numbers, 3020 and 3018, but very few students know them because they are not highlighted. It depends on the school, but most of the time, they are indicated on a notice board in a corner where they cannot be seen.

→ ANALYSIS. School bullying: is justice too passive?

In addition, cases of harassment are not always taken into consideration by establishments, which often try to sort things out in the head of the establishment’s office without referring it to the hierarchy. Even the families of victims sometimes prefer to find solutions themselves.

Not to mention that for cyberbullying, it is even more difficult to act since the headquarters of social networks is not in France, or even in Europe. What happened last week with the 2010 hashtag on Tik Tok and Instagram is a good example of what we want to do. After the online insults against the young people born that year, there was a very great reactivity both in the establishments and on the part of the Minister of Education who made a quick statement to welcome these college students, which prompted Tik Tok and Instagram to remove the hashtag. This example proves that it is possible.

What measures do you recommend?

CM: We make 35 recommendations. In terms of prevention, we ask for better control of the public policies put in place, in particular the pHARe program around the training of teachers, the visibility of telephone numbers, the awareness of students, parents and the entire community. educational. We must evaluate the systems and make harassment and cyberbullying a major national cause as well as a priority of the French Presidency of the European Union, from January 2022. Or even force social networks to present in an explicit and understandable way by young people the conditions of use, in particular those relating to cyberstalking.

It is also extremely important to speak out, which is extremely important, and to make sure that children know that they can ask adults for help. We can also plan in each establishment, from the start of the school year, for the distribution of a flyer presenting the existing law, the help numbers and the penalties incurred.

Finally, it is essential to treat the victims and to punish the harassers, with community service or internships, bearing in mind that these are also children in danger. In addition, telephone numbers must be accessible 24 hours a day. There is no reason for children to be harassed 24 hours a day. via social networks and that they cannot use a platform at all times.


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