Action needed to curb bullies

Parents and teachers are to blame for a lack of communication with children that leads to two in 10 being bullied and one in 10 becoming bullies, a study of primary schools in Athens and Thessaloniki has shown. If children were encouraged to speak up about their fears and problems at home and at school, tackling bullying would be easier, according to Ioannis Tsiantis of the Association for the Psychosocial Health of Children and Adolescents and Child Ombudsman Giorgos Moschos. The study, conducted with a sample of schools, found that 22.5 percent of children had suffered bullying two or three times a week and 10 percent of schoolchildren had bullied others. Pupils said teachers only intervene in a third of bullying cases while six out of 10 parents do not press teachers to act. Eight out of 10 pupils said there was no cooperation between parents and teachers to crack down on the phenomenon. As a result, only 10 percent of children report bullying.