lunedì 4 marzo 2019


Cyberbullying, work in progress!!
Some data about Romania

Podar Adrian, teacher
“Mihai Eminescu” National College,
Oradea, Bihor County, Romania

Cyberbullying, work in progress!!... Yes! According to statistics, it is a reality in the process of constant change and a phenomenon that is constantly amplifying. Here's some information about the situation in the United States[1].

It is noted that the phenomenon of cyberbullying has doubled over a period of 9 years. The average for 2007-2016 is 27.9%. Statistical data was collected by the Center for Cyberbullying Research among high school and high school students on a representative sample. Of the respondents, only 16% agreed that they would behave violently on the internet, with behaviors that could fit into the definition of cyberbullying. It must be: intentionally, repeatedly, targeting the injuries of the other, and occurring through electronic devices[2]. Cyberbullying is related to low self-esteem, suicidal intentions, anger, frustration and a variety of other emotional or psychological problems, we discover from the same sources.
Globally, cyberbullying is more nuanced. A study conducted between 2011 and 2018 shows that there are two poles of this reality: India - reporting 37% and Russia - 1%. From this study, we find that in Romania - data are only for 2018 - parents reported cyberbullying in 11%, which is below the global average, but above Hungary, for example, with a 10 % and below Italy or Poland by 12%.
According to the studies, cyberbullying has always doubled between the periods of time spent studying it: 2002-2007 and 2007-2018. What is worrying, according to statistics, is that little has been done to diminish the phenomenon. Moreover, the manners in which the phenomenon manifested have diversified. The latest situation is identity theft, as is the case of Facebook, which is trying to stop this phenomenon by different platforms. One of these is presented to us as proposed in Italy[3]. The platform is called Fermiamo il bullismo and was developed in collaboration with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. The platform contains downloadable pdfs and indications for those who are victims of violence, for parents and teachers who are bullied, but also for parents and teachers accused of harassment.

   Continuous amplification of the phenomenon of cyberbullying. Years 2004-2018.    

Cyberbullying undermines the full realization of the UN's Sustainable Development Objective 4 - we read on the UNESCO website - on the quality of education. Traditional and online aggression are closely linked, both forbidding equal access to education and acting against safety, non-violent and inclusive learning environments for all children and adolescents.
 The need to involve the national education sector is clear. Evidence from a study shows that 62% of the digital users interviewed did not know or were unsure of how much they could find help when they were assaulted by electronic devices. Based on the evidence available, participants gathered in London to develop the new campaign to combat cyberbullying agreed that the focus should be on children and young people. However, there is also a major opportunity to increase the commitment and support of adults, including parents, teachers, school administrators, youth leaders, coaches, health professionals and others.
The call to a global campaign to tackle this issue was first announced in the International Symposium School Violence and Harassment. It was co-organized by UNESCO and the Institute for the Prevention of School Violence at Ewha Womens University in Seoul in January 2017, where the UNESCO Report on the Global Situation of School Violence and Harassment was published. The Cyberbullying Global Campaign, supported by No Bully, wishes to engage in creative collaborations, decentralized actions, and provide adaptable messages and materials, as well as provide clear guidance to help change transformation. The participants who participated in the London meeting came from around the world and included social representatives and other industry representatives, researchers, civil society partners, young people, representatives of the Ministry of Education and UNESCO. This initiative could be closely linked to the UNESCO program on combating school violence and harassment as part of efforts to protect the health and well-being of young people against online aggression. The campaign is under development.
Romania's policy to manage cyberbullying or aggression in the virtual environment is uncertain. The site politiaromană.ro[4] talks about this and makes recommendations[5]. The reality is, as we find out in the press, a sad one. Romania has gradually become the country with the most frequent acts of aggression in the virtual environment[6]. The survey dates back to 2011. The helpline reported 218 cyberbullying acts, out of a total of 650; exactly one-third. We are in 2017 – said the IlikeIT show presenter back then – at school, we would rather sing and draw instead of learning the right behavior in front of the TV or computer[7]. Cyberbullying is a major problem favored by a weak legislative framework, comments Iulia-Laura Dobre, Elena Enăchescu[8]. There is no cyberbullying legislation in Romania, but in the New Penal Code, from February 1, 2014, harassment has a wider meaning (unlike the old code, which mentioned only sexual harassment), cyberbullying as harassment and punishment as such. The Law on Harassment is part of Chapter VI ("Offenses against Freedom of Persons") of the New Penal Code.

  Percentages of cyberbullying in Romania.

According to statistics, by gender, the victims of cyberbullying are 16.60% boys and 25.10% girls. 70% of children and young people were at one time or another of their lives victims of aggression in the virtual context. 37% experienced it very often, 20% - daily. The phenomenon occurred either on the computer or on the mobile phone.
 Society, microclimate - family - and macro-climate - as a whole - adapt to the digital world by promoting face-to-face communication. Parents are helpful when encouraging children to give up digital devices in social situations and interact with their peers through play[9]. To increase trust in the educational institution, students should be perceived as educational partners[10].
Violence in the virtual environment can be prevented and diminished by democratizing education. This happens through parents' participation in school life[11]. School is invited to open up to the community and its needs by increasing its visibility and transparency of pedagogical processes for its beneficiaries. We therefore propose an extension of school-family collaboration, since cyberbullying is a reflection of the aggressive way of networking in society[12].
 At an international level, UNESCO has taken several steps[13]. Implementation of international policies at local level can lead to training for both teachers and students. As a school, how do we admire this phenomenon? We consider it appropriate to develop, for example, an optional integrated school subject, covering relevant topics in this field.
Instead of a conclusion, we intend to promote two ideas[14]. The first is an educational project titled "BLOCKaggression!". It ran from the 9 October to the 9 December 2018 and was addressed to primary, lower and upper secondary school teachers. In order to reduce and combat the phenomenon of cyberbullying, the Net Hour team provides teachers with a resource pack containing both a series of videos that address this topic and plans for 3 lessons that can be implemented in class with students. The campaign ended in December 9, 2018, and teachers were invited to follow the procedure outlined in the initiative's guidelines to receive certificates in an exclusively electronic format attesting their involvement. More information about the initiative can be found at, and the registration of volunteers is available at

The second proposal is the #NoHateredOntheNet, launched by the same the Net Hour. This is an extension that can be installed in Chrome on any computer. Once downloaded, it installs easily with the role of detecting aggressive or injurious words on any website accessed with the Google Chrome web browser, including social networking chats, and overwriting negative words with educational, respect and tolerance.
An important feature of the #NoHateredOntheNet is that when children encounter overwritten words or phrases, they will be redirected to the website where, on a page dedicated to combating cyberbullying, they will find important information about the way they can react and combat the harmful effects of this phenomenon. These include: caution about providing pictures and personal data; avoiding replies to aggressors, which will be perceived as an encouragement to continue bullying; the announcement of parents or teachers, if aggression occurs in school.

Online sources
Other resources
Benga Oana, Băban Adriana, Opre Adrian, coord.
Strategii de prevenție a problemelor de comportament, Cluj-Napoca, Editura ASCR, 2015
Blândul Valentin Cosmin - Psihopedagogia comportamentului deviant, București, Editura Aramis, 2012
Neamțu Cristina - Devianța școlară. Ghid de intervenție în cazul problemelor de comportament ale elevilor, Iași, Polirom, 2003

Whitson Signe - Fenomenul de bullying: 8 strategii pentru a-i pune capăt, București, Editura Herald, 2017

[1] Consultat 31 oct. 2018.
[2] Oana Benga, Adriana Băban, Adrian Opre, coord., Strategii de prevenție a problemelor de comportament, Cluj-Napoca, Editura ASCR, 2015, p. 20.
[3] Consultat 31 oct. 2018.
[4] Romanian Police internet site.
[5] Consultat 31 oct. 2018.
[6] Consultat 31 oct. 2018.
[7] Consultat 31 oct. 2018.
[8] Consultat 31 oct. 2018.
[9] Signe Whitson, Fenomenul de bullying: 8 strategii pentru a-i pune capăt, București, Editura Herald, 2017, p. 103.
[10] Valentin Cosmin Blândul, Psihopedagogia comportamentului deviant, București, Editura Aramis, 2012, p. 232.
[11] Cristina Neamțu, Devianța școlară. Ghid de intervenție în cazul problemelor de comportament ale elevilor, Iași, Polirom, 2003, p. 81.
[12] Ibidem, p. 240.
[13] Consultat 31 oct. 2018.

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