In Sweden, one in four children state that they have been subjected to degrading treatment by another student in school in the past year. Girls are more exposed than boys, and many students bear witness to mean comments, exclusion and physical abuse. This information is presented in the Friends Report 2017, released every August when the children go back to school.
The Friends Report is based on data from Friends’ analysis service with answers from 43,337 students in Swedish schools (preschool to grade 9). This year’s report shows that acts of degrading treatment are common in Swedish schools, and that many young people are subjected to prolonged bullying. Ten percentage of the students state that they have been subjected to bullying in the past year.
- Bullying and discrimination are schools’ largest challenges and this problem has devastating consequences. Almost one child a week commits suicide and many of those children have experiences of bullying. This can be prevented, but only if the schools’ knowledge on preventative work increases, says Per Leander, Secretary General at Friends.
In Sweden, girls in grade 6-9 are more exposed (27 %) to acts of degrading treatment than boys (16 %). The report also shows that harassments related to ethnicity, sexual orientation and disabilities are common. 15 % of the subjected children answer that the victimizations were related to ethnicity.
- Research clearly shows that bullying can be stopped if the school has a systematic quality assurance with a scientific base. In addition, the whole school including staff, students and parents need to be involved to build a safe and secure environment together, says Per Leander.