Week Seven Prompt: How does your country handle issues of bullying and youth violence. Who makes the decisions regarding what is or is not acceptable? Are they done at the school level, school district level, state/provincial or national level? Has there been national attention or top-level efforts to stop bullying and youth violence? Have they been successful? In the last ten years, has there been a stand-out case or cases that brought media attention to this topic? Is bullying more common in a particular level of education (elementary, secondary, post-secondary) or is it widespread?
“I am not scared” – Combating Violence and Bullying in Bulgarian Schools
Lindsay Ozburn, MAEUS Student
As technological advancements have crept into many corners of the world, so, too, has cyberbullying amongst young children and teenagers. The European Commission and several member states have recognized this increase in bullying amongst its youth over the past decade. In response, several countries, including Bulgaria, have participated in the “I am not scared” project, supported by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Program. Bulgaria has participated in this program since 2010, aiming to “identify the best European strategies to prevent bullying”, with a bottom-up approach (Staneva, 2011:79, 87). In Bulgaria, it is supported specifically by Zinev Art Technologies.
|Figure 1: uclacommons.com|
While Bulgaria does participate in the “I am not scared” program, it does not currently have state policy to reduce or prevent violence and bullying in schools. There are resources, however, for children in situations of domestic abuse or bullying outside of the family. One in particular, the National Programme for Child Protection, offers support “for the better coordination and implementation of sectoral policies to achieve more effective protection of fundamental rights of children in Bulgaria” (Staneva, 2011:86).
For more information and statistics on violence and bullying in Bulgaria, including the “I am not scared” project, see Zornitsa Staneva’s article.