Interview with the Instructors of the Bullying and Cyberbullying Work-shop

Publication date: 

Saioa Magunazelaia GonzalezSara González Muro

Saioa Magunazelaia Gonzalez, health and educational psychologist, systemic trauma therapist, mediator and instructor

Sara González Muro, psychotherapy psychologist, mediator and instructor

  • Society seems to be becoming increasingly aware of the importance of this issue? 

Yes, it is. For years now, as a society, we have been emphasising the significance of bullying and cyberbullying, how to prevent it, and how to respond to it. However, the organisations working on this issue believe there is still much to do. It's an uncomfortable subject for schools and families and a source of much suffering. Initially, we focus on the suffering of the victim, which is clear and needs to be addressed first. However, we shouldn't overlook the suffering and guilt experienced at some point by the perpetrators of bullying and those who witness such behaviour, who are - on the other hand - most of the school population. We mustn't lose sight of the educational and remedial perspective in the response to bullying and/or cyberbullying, which is aimed at promoting healthy changes in the entire educational community. It is an opportunity to learn to treat each other well, take care of each other as a group, and not be insensitive to mistreatment. 

  • It is hard to think of redress and learning when the media reports cases of bullying and cyberbullying in which, unfortunately, there is no such thing. Cases in which people have been suffering for years and where little or nothing has been done? 

Indeed, such cases reflect a failure of the system. Early detection and a forceful response are two keys to curbing bullying and reducing the negative effects of bullying on all those involved. As we said before, it's an uncomfortable subject. Sometimes, it's scary to implement the necessary protocols for a successful response, but it's undoubtedly the best tool we have to detect, intervene and stop bullying. And this is precisely what we will focus on in the workshop. We must be familiar with the protocol, the steps to follow and the key points when dealing with pupils and families. 

  • Sometimes, schools feel that they do not have the tools to act... 

Hence the importance of this type of workshop because we provide a compulsory protocol, which is a comprehensive guide to the steps required. However, how to proceed and what processes and methods are most appropriate requires constant training.

In this type of workshop, we often have people from the BAT (Bullying Aurkako Taldea) team, who are constantly being trained to gain more knowledge and learn strategies to respond better and earlier. Bullying is an extremely complicated phenomenon, and we must not overlook the need to study cases on a case-by-case basis. 

It should also be noted that responding is much easier and more effective if the case is detected early and the situation is less entrenched. For this reason, we insist a lot on prevention and the awareness of the whole educational community: the pupils, the teaching staff, the non-teaching staff, and the families, so that they know the key points that distinguish a case of bullying from a case that is not bullying and to report it to the school. And this is complicated. It is still very difficult to make the entire educational community understand that telling is not snitching and that it is not a childish thing to do. 

  • Indeed, because sometimes teachers and families are the last to find out... 

This is what the figures tell us, and it is worrying. This is why it is so important to be aware of the indicators and, if we suspect bullying, to start investigating what's going on. We are required to apply the protocol, establish measures to guarantee everyone's safety, and launch an investigation process that will help us clarify whether we are dealing with a case of mistreatment. Whatever the conclusion, we are faced with a situation where we must act because someone is suffering. This is why we should not be afraid to apply the protocol; in fact, it is a highly effective tool that favours coexistence, provides legal certainty, and is based on promoting the well-being of the students in our schools. 

  • What will we learn in the course/workshop? 

The training proposal is practical in nature and focuses on case studies. This training aims to provide educators with the necessary tools and strategies to detect cases of bullying and cyberbullying at an early stage and, fundamentally, to provide the keys to an agile and effective response that includes all the people involved.

Bullying and Cyberbullying Workshop: Case Studies