In Bullying Around the World

Bullying in Luxembourg

Luxembourg is among several European nations utilizing a Finnish anti-bullying program called KiVa Koula. Teachers were to receive training in 2014 and implement it in the schools of Luxembourg in 2015. Bullying in Luxembourg is taken seriously in the schools, and this is part of an effort to reduce cases of bullying.

“The effectiveness of the programme is based on the fact that everyone is responsible for the well-being of the group. Thereby, there are no bystanders in bullying. Resources are channelled to promoting involvement, and not all energy is used to help victims and to educate bullies,” Gijs Huitsing, a researcher at the University of Groningen, said.

In Holland a 20 percent reduction in bulling was achieved with this program. It is too soon to tell how it will do in this small European nation. The essence of this program is that it involves everyone instead of just focusing on bullies and their victims. How to handle bullying then, depends on everyone working together.

In June of 2016 students at the elementary school Lux II created a human replica of the KiVa symbol and marked the occasion with singing and games. They were seeing even less bullying after using this program. How to deal with, or how to prevent bullying seems to be more about teamwork and less about controlling the bully.

According to bullying statistics, 14 percent of students in Luxembourg have been victims of bullies. This study measures “Western” nations that included Europe and North America. Bullying in Luxembourg was ninth on the list, with Austria and Estonia leading the way at 21 and 20 percent respectively.

Throughout the western world bullying information, middle school bullying is the most common, as kids between the ages of 11 and 15 are the most likely to bully or to be victims. High school bullying continues but tends to taper off as people become adults. Boys are more likely to be involved than girls, but it is more common for boys to bully boys and for girls to bully girls. Boys tend to bully face to face and use physical bullying in Luxembourg. Girls are more likely to use verbal bullying and social media bullying.

A book called “Violence in Schools: A European Response,” suggests that bullying is less common in Luxembourg than many other European nations. This study showed that the 14 percent were bullied “sometimes” but only three percent said it happened several times in a week. This study showed 58 percent of first graders, and 71 percent of second graders said they had never been bullied at all. This study also showed more than half of the students felt safe at school most of the time.

This study did however, say there was violence in the schools, and noted that as many as 25 percent of high school students fail before completing their education.

While the country may not have a tremendous amount of bullying at school, cyberbullying is getting a lot of attention. Cyberbullying is using social media, such as facebook bullying or internet bullying, to harass other students. It can also involve using phones or any electronic device. It is perhaps more tempting because the bully does not have to face his or her victim, but the damage can be even greater. There have been reports in other countries of teenagers killing themselves after being bullied for an extensive period of time.

There are no cyberbullying laws in Luxembourg, but it is part of the bullying in Luxembourg that makes up the total. It is fairly new with the advent of new technology, so it is getting more attention in the schools. Teens are using more of this type technology and it lends itself to abuse because of the anonymous nature of the media and because it is hard to escape. As facts about cyberbullying emerge, it is clear it can be more damaging than in person bullying.

There are many reasons why people bully, and there are reasons some people are victims. It is often thought that a bad home life may lead to bullying behavior as children do at school what they see at home. Childhood bullying is also often caused when kids want to look good in front of others, so they find someone to pick on to gain approval from their peers. Victims tend to have problems fitting in already, may have higher levels of stress and have fewer social skills. Often people continue in their roles – whether bully or victim – for years.

After high school people often are the same as they were. Bullies stay bullies and victims remain victims. There are some cases where a person who was a victim as a child, finds themselves in a position of power as an adult, and becomes a bully. This is just one of the long term effects. Others include depression and less success in life in general. Bullying must include a power imbalance, and the behavior must be repeated over a significant amount of time.

While Luxembourg has some of the lowest numbers for childhood bullying in Luxembourg, it seems the numbers actually decrease in adulthood.

In studies between 2013 and 2015, there was a decline in bullying as there was more bulling awareness and a nobullying policy.

The most common form of workplace bullying, or office bullying, was being sent on meaningless missions, or being given pointless busy work. In the two years studies this feel from 8.2 percent to 6.9 percent. Being criticized unreasonably was the second highest, and it fell from 7.6 percent to 4.9 percent. Being ridiculed in front of others was rate, at less than two percent for either year. There were virtually no reports of physical bullying in the workplace.

Some other interesting bullying facts from this study included:

  • Younger people, aged 16-24 were most often bullied, and those over 55 were the least concerned.
  • People who had been at a workplace many years were bullied less than others.,
  • A workplace with 10 or fewer employees has less bullying, and there is more in bigger operations.
  • Businesses that show concern for health issues have less bullying.
  • In the country of Luxembourg, people who are of Luxembourg or French nationality are more likely to be bullied, and those of German nationality are less likely.
  • Bullying occurs most where the workplace environment is unfavorable to employees.

In 2009 trade unions in Luxembourg signed a nobullying agreement for the workplace. This does not have the power of law, and there is still no specific law against bullying for adults in Luxembourg. However, this agreement was seen as a significant step to give workers some protection.

This at least defines bullying and gives employers and employees a framework.

For it to be considered bullying a pattern of behavior has to be established.

Bullying among adults is called Moral Harassment or Mobbing. A law firm says while the agreement was good, it falls short because there is still no law in place. It is up to the worker to prove he or she was harmed. The matter is left up to judges, so results are inconsistent.

Sexual harassment is illegal, but that is not considered bullying and is covered under a different law.




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