Yesterday, the Chamber of Deputies ratified legislation on anti-bullying, introducing measures to tackle physical and verbal violence amongst children in schools. The legislation seeks “the promotion of coexistence to approach social conflicts in educational institutions.”
Deputy Mara Brawer, author of the bill, spoke on Vorterix radio, stating “It is a law to address violence, it is broader than bullying. In all schools, there has to be a level of participation to discuss issues of coexistence between students, teachers, and parents. There can be no pedagogical silence.”
The Ministry of Education will issue a national guideline for teachers to resolve abuse within their schools. Schools will also be allocated specialised equipment to tackle and alleviate the trauma of bullying, one such approach is through the creation of free telephone help-lines.
According to studies from the Argentine Catholic University (UCA) six out of every ten students acknowledge participating in physical or verbal abuse against their peers. Furthermore, one in four students between the age of ten and 18 fear reactions from their peers, with 46% claiming to suffer violence “at times” and 11% suffering it “many times.”
The Chamber of Deputies first proposed the bill on 21st November of last year, but when the Senate passed the bill with a modification on 3rd July, it was forced to return to the lower house once again. Early yesterday morning, the legislation was then ratified.
In addition, last night the Chamber of Deputies approved a bill to criminalise adults who deliberately earn the trust of a child over the internet to gain sexual benefits. This bill on ‘grooming’ will be returned to Senate for ratification. In December 2011, the Senate had modified a previous proposal from the lower house, suggesting that these people should not be penalised as severely as those who commit the physical act of molestation.