DESCRIPTION OF THE SUCCESS STORY
It all started when the bullied boy changed schools. The first signs that things weren’t right at school started to show through his impatient and aggressive behaviour.
The bully attended the same school, but belonged to a different class. Bully and victim were the same age. The bullied boy started changing his attitudes: he became increasingly more aggressive, impatient and also very reserved.
His mother, while witnessing these changes, worried over him and sought medical support for her son, because she really wanted to understand what was going on. The parents took their son to a neurologist and he was able to figure out what was happening, i.e. that he was being bullied at school. His course of action was to make the boy explain how he was being bullied and the boy opened up and told his story and how all had started at the beginning of the school year.
Every day he had to give the other boy the money had given him to eat at school. He had to give the boy at least 1 euro every day because he had been menaced with a knife. The boy did not have the money, could not eat and was hungry till he went back home at 6 pm, besides being frightened all the time. Once she learned the truth, the boy’s mother was amazed and reminisced all the little signs she had remarked before and that she had been unable to piece together into a coherent whole. She knew who the bully was by name and in person and she could hardly refrain herself from going up him and chastise him, when they crossed on the street. She knew that would not help and so did nothing. What she did was to let the school know what was going on. Thus she talked to the class teachers of both students. Shw also talked to the police.
However, the bullied boy’s sister could not refrain her anger and together with a group of colleagues cornered the bully. She threatened him that should he bully her brother again, she and her friends would turn on him. The bully pretended he had done nothing. However, fearing the others, he called on friends to protect him on the way out from school.
Eventually the case was taken to court and the bullied boy had to testify against the bully, which he did.
According to the mother of the bullied boy, this episode made her son grow emotionally and now he feels much stronger than he had before.
The possible explanation of the success of this story lies in the timely parental support, medical (specialized) help that was able to diagnose the boy’s change of attitudes and the subsequent school and societal response.
From the point of view of the parent, it was the family who first spotted the problem and sought help for the boy and then called attention of the school actors – both class teachers, the class teacher of the bully and the class teacher of the victim.
It is unclear, from the parent’s story how the school acted on the news.
However it is highlighted that bringing the case before justice, helped the boy regain emotional confidence. He was heard at court and felt emotionally stronger for it.
The transferability potential of this story lies in calling the attention of parents to changes in attitudes and behaviors of their children as indicators for violence they may be victims of at school. It is also important to keep in mind that every bullying situation needs to be tacked and not ignored. The mother showed control in not confronting the bully directly when she had the opportunity and she showed a possible course of action for parents who might find themselves in similar situations: seek medical or specialized help, report the case to school authorities and to the police, so her son might feel safe again at school and not afraid.