Every day there is a boy or girl who is afraid to go to school. And we’re sure that as a group we have the power to change things.
It must have been about ten years since we went through the most complicated family situation we've ever experienced. From that situation we took more good things than bad, although the bad things were many. But school bullying forces you to ask questions, to change dynamics, to listen more and to intervene less. It forces you to understand the importance of the foundation, of family education. It forces you to work on your empathy, something rare in the world we live in.
Since then, we have made it our goal as a family to help everyone who finds themselves in this situation. It was a matter of asking the right question. It wasn't ‘Why me?’, but ‘What for?’. It was about guiding, listening and, above all, understanding. The latter is so important when you find yourself in such a deep earthquake. So much.
And so I started working with the association that had helped me. I will never be able to pay back what they gave me. Then came the interviews, the talks, the workshops, the ideas, the networks, and a lot of things to try to prevent any child from suffering like mine had. To prevent any family from suffering what we had suffered.
The May 2 was World Day of Bullying Prevention and, of course, we all set out to explain what lies behind bullying. Without dramatizing, we tried to lay the needs of the system on the table, to remark on what is being done well, and to highlight the weaknesses. We try to give meaning to suffering, making that of others lighter, if possible. Maybe that's why I felt so frustrated after a few interviews. I felt in my gut that I, with my testimony, was just a part of a TV show. That screen share was the only thing behind all of it, and that, unfortunately, yellow journalism was the order of the day. We didn’t discuss laws, help resources, families, schools, inspection, prevention… the questions repeated themselves, as always, about the worst experience of our family life. How did we feel, what did the school do, what an injustice… and so on until we finished, feeling empty from remembering and reliving the nightmare again.
The media fulfilled its obligation. May 2 was a day to discuss school bullying, which affects one in four children, the one that leaves mental scars for life and, in the worst cases, takes away the dreams of boys and girls who feel as though they are nobody and nobody cares about them. And despite the coverage and the gratitude we feel for having a voice, yesterday we felt very close to them. As much as we raised our voices, we only saw people with a bag of popcorn, eager to fill their own emptiness by listening to the misfortune of others.
Every day there is a boy or girl who is afraid to go to school. And we’re sure that as a group we have the power to change things. It’s just a matter of willingness, like the willingness to listen and to understand why school bullying still goes on in our classrooms. And this needs to be a collective effort, from families to schools as well as public institutions and also the media.
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