Source: Dr Sameer Hinduja, Deputy Director Cyberbullying Research Center
- A report released by Dr Hinduja of the Cyberbullying Research Center examines failure at the world’s most expensive school, Le Rosey, in Switzerland.
- The report found that schools were ‘deliberately indifferent’ to the well-being of bullied students
- He concluded that the school’s actions were ‘problematic’ and resulted in ‘re-victimization’ of students
The following is a statement by Dr Sameer Hinduja from Cyberbullying Research Centre who asked the school to learn from him failure at Institoutside That Rosey when it comes to handling bullying:
ORLANDO, Florida, November 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The school’s main goal has always been to educate and support the students placed under their care. Important to achieving that goal is the need to provide a safe environment for them. It is the school’s duty to do all it can to prevent the disruption of students’ ability to learn and develop there, free from harassment or harassment.
Nonetheless, a recent study conducted by the Cyber Bullying Research Center found that 52% of teenage students across the US have been bullied at school in the past month. Although the numbers vary by country, it is clear that this is a serious problem affecting young people today.
The ubiquitous use of social media across the student body requires schools to keep pace with the rapidly changing digital landscape. Careful consideration is needed for policies and programs that protect students – especially with the potential for increased cyberbullying and increased digital learning due to COVID-19. Many schools around the world work dutifully to overcome oppression in a systematic and enduring manner.
However, this has not been successfully implemented by all schools, and in fact one of the most prestigious schools in the world today is. facing litigation from Radhika and Pankaj Oswal, the parents of the students, for being negligent in doing so.
This case is an important case that must be considered by educators around the world. There are many important lessons to be learned from Le Rosey’s failure. Furthermore, depending on the outcome, this could set an important legal precedent.
The Le Rosey Institute in Switzerland, known for its tuition fees as the world’s most expensive school, as well as many of its well-known alumni, have been labeled as “deliberately indifferent” to the welfare of students facing serious acts of cyberbullying and bullying. The student’s experience causes serious emotional injury and impacts on his or her psychological well-being as certified by a medical professional, but this seems to be ignored by the school.
Unfortunately, instead of prioritizing the well-being of bullied students, schools seem to downplay the problem and perceive it as a common behavior among 14 year olds that requires no formal investigation or intervention. After spending years working in the field of bullying prevention, Dr Sameer Hinduja said that “this is a major mistake and a problematic one in any school, let alone an ‘elite’ school like Le Rosey.”
School administrators have a duty to take meaningful action if any form of bullying becomes known to them. The age of the student does not matter, and without a serious and thorough investigation of the incident and its surroundings, it is unacceptable to underestimate the potential harm that occurs.
In this case the student is suspected of experiencing direct injury in the form of insult and assault as well as indirect torture in the form of exclusion and rejection. Moreover, this was done by a number of attackers on the Le Rosey campus.
Another major problem is that some of the harassment appears to be racial or ethnic in nature. Research clearly shows that identity-based bullying often inflicts a more serious level of harm on victims, by attacking the identity from which a child derives their beliefs, value systems, and customs. In fact, some countries even consider and classify forms of aggression such as hate crimes, which underscores the seriousness of the offense.
It is surprising that a school like Le Rosey, which prides itself on having an international student base, has consistently failed to address the issue in an appropriate manner. Compounding this is the lack of adequate policies in schools to address this in the first instance.
Furthermore, Le Rosey’s inadequate responses likely expose students to additional trauma through what is known as secondary victimization. This occurs when the target feels victimized again because of the insensitive or inadequate response of the authorities who are supposed to come to their aid.
It is surprising how, in response to the reasonable requests made by parents for help and protection, including the possibility of students sleeping at home – away from the traumatic environment, the school allegedly came to the conclusion that it was for the best. it is in the interest of everyone involved to cancel student enrollments.
The priority of any school must be the health and well-being of the students under its care. Instead of working with parents to implement enhanced bullying prevention policies and programs and programs, schools downgraded student behavior and ended up canceling enrollments roughly one month after the first incident. This action was completely unfounded considering the student’s high achievement and subsequent letters of recommendation. It seems the school has made a decision not worth the hassle, and has instead chosen to move away from the student and his family.
Such responses are at best an unfeeling mistake, and at worst multipliers of the traumatic consequences experienced by the victim. After all, schools should have done more.
Based on the known facts of the case, it appears that Le Rosey failed miserably not only in their response efforts, but also in their precautions – which were piecemeal, ad hoc and grossly inadequate.
Schools need to continue working on and developing their anti-bullying policies and programs. First and foremost, all teachers and staff in schools must be properly trained in how to handle bullying to ensure that they treat all reports seriously and with equal performance.
Second, all schools should have some form of meaningful, evidence-based social and emotional learning program that has been proven by research to reduce bullying. Third, the code of conduct and related policies must be clear, comprehensive and detailed in the scope of not only prohibited behavior and proportional consequences, but also procedures for identifying, reporting, investigating and preventing bullying and cyberbullying.
Dr Hinduja comments “Unfortunately, the effects of neglect in this area are often lingering. Such neglect not only disappoints students in this particular case, but will likely undermine the confidence of other students, and their families, in the ability of schools like Le Rosey to proactively deal with future incidents of bullying and cyberbullying. “
Notes to Editors:
- Cyberbullying Research Center is a think tank based in the US that conducts research to address bullying, cyberbullying, and associated harm among young people. It is there to uncover and share best practices in identification, prevention and response to educators, counselors, health professionals, youth service organizations, families, and communities so that they can best support the people they care for.
- Dr. SameHinduism is the Co-Director of the Cyber Bullying Research Center, Professor of Criminology at Florida Atlantic University, and Faculty Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center.