in Nîmes, an association helps disadvantaged parents

How to help a child who is subjected to intimidation, threats, pressure at school? Many parents admit to being helpless in the face of this situation. In Nîmes (Gard), an association organizes awareness workshops for adults who want to take action.

When you realize that your child is the victim of bullying at school, “we really feel alone”. Only Nathalie Diaz, this mother living in the Gard, has been for years. His daughter Mélanie was the victim of school harassment during a large part of her schooling, from the end of primary school to the start of high school. Years during which Nathalie Diaz tried to help her child by alerting the management of the establishment on several occasions. But in vain. “We were received, we were heard, but there is nothing concrete that was done to stop it“, affirms Nathalie Diaz.”After a while, you don’t know what you can do to help your child without interfering too much with their school life.

Now an adult, Mélanie, Nathalie Diaz’s daughter, remembers trying to alert the adults at her school, too. “No matter how much I went to school to make reports, to report everything that was happening, each time I felt like it was in the wind”.

If Nathalie Diaz was able to identify the suffering of her daughter when she was the victim of bullying, this is not the case for all parents. The association for the prevention of harassment at school (Alphé), based in Nîmes, intends to educate parents and teach them to identify signs of distress. “If there is one certainty about bullying, it’s that children don’t talk”, Says Gabriella Cairo, president of the association, who recalls that“several signs can alert”. Notes in free fall, unexplained aggressiveness, children who lock themselves up, or who on the contrary are particularly happy… The list goes on, according to her.

Parental awareness is an essential step in preventing bullying

Gabriella Cairo, president of the association for the prevention of bullying at school (Alphé)

And to educate parents, Alphé organizes workshops in the presence of parents of students. An initiative that attracts dozens of adults at each meeting. “My daughter is 11 years old, she is in the sixth grade. I don’t worry about her, but I come for the other children too”, Explains Romain Defert after a prevention workshop organized by Alphé at the Irène Joliot-Curie departmental college in Nîmes (Gard).

Since 2019, this school has put in place a system to fight against bullying at school, in partnership with the Montpellier rectorate. This initiative “helps prevent and educate young people and adults about scapegoating phenomena, discrimination, the detection of any form of harassment as well as the individual and collective treatment of the consequences”, Indicates the direction of the college. She specifies that each year, around ten students are trained by academic advisers and must identify the reprehensible behavior that their classmates may have.

According to figures from the Ministry of Education, around 1 in 10 college students would be the victim of bullying during their schooling. During the national day against bullying at school on November 17, Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer launched an awareness campaign in schools and on social networks. A prevention plan against harassment between students, launched in 2018, has just been put back on the agenda by the government.