“School bullying and victimization is not only a top educational issue, it is above all a social problem. It reflects and introduces racism, homophobia, gender-based violence and hate rhetoric in the school environment,” said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on occasion of Panhellenic Day Against School Violence & Intimidation, who went on to say that school violence and bullying can be dealt with effectively by an adult but when experienced by children and teenagers it could have irreversible consequences on their psychological and emotional growth.”
“The answer here is the democratic school, one that accepts diversity and difference and which sensitizes students, parents and educationalists and promotes mutual understanding in intrapersonal relationships,” said Tsipras, adding that the answer is “a school that focuses on nurturing respect, empathy, solidarity and participation in communal and public life.”
Tsipras stated that “the initiatives of the Ministry of Education, like the thematic week, the new ‘school life organization framework’ as well as new infrastructure for counseling and support, all help tackle the problem” while “a series of policy choices we have implemented like recognition of gender identity and inclusion of children in the educational structure, were aimed at empowering those facing social exclusion.”
“March 6, the Panhellenic Day Against School Violence & Intimidation, means to encourage victims to speak. The state and the school community give rise to the conditions so that when they do speak they are heard. Isolation increases the problem and dialogue leads to a solution,” concluded the prime minister.