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In Sept à Huit, the Minister of National Education spoke about the academic harassment he suffered at school. What are the consequences of such a situation for the bullied child and the emerging adult? How to build yourself and assert yourself, without your peers? Mathilde Royol, child psychologist in the pediatric department of the Nîmes University Hospital and co-author with Magali Rebattel of the book “My child is being harassed, concretely what should I do?”, answers us.
“I experienced a flood of insults and insults”
It was in the program Sept à Huit that the Minister of National Education Gabriel Attal spoke about this painful period of his life:
“I was at the end of middle school, I was 14, 15 years old. It was a student of the establishment who had opened this site on which it was necessary to post comments on the students’ physique. And I, on this occasion, experienced a flood of insults and insults, it lasted several months and it was very violent“, related the minister.
On this blog, Gabriel Attal is treated as “pedal, tafiole, tarlouze“.”It was about my sexual orientation, assumed at the time, because I didn’t talk about it around me“, he explains.
If this same comrade seems to have continued to harass him for a long time (in 2018 he will publish messages on social networks making references to his homosexuality, editor’s note) Gabriel Attal assures that he has forged himself since “a shell“.
But while almost 1 in 5 young people are victims of school bullying today – according to the latest study carried out by Ifop – how do we recover from such a traumatic episode?
For Mathilde Royol, psychologist and co-author of the book “My child is being harassed, what should I do?reconstruction is often long – and the after-effects can persist.for life“.
“The consequences of school bullying in children are multiple: psychological difficulties, anxiety, depression, school phobias… But also somatic problems, such as headaches, unexplained stomach aches, which start suddenly., relates the expert. Then, the child’s social life is obviously impacted.Due to his rejection of the group, this unfortunate situation will be part of his development until adulthood. He often suffers from low self-esteem and can have difficulty finding his place, professionally, but also in his family, romantic and friendly life. In reality, all spheres of daily life are affected.”
If the Minister of National Education claims to have come a long way since the school harassment of which he was the victim – “Fear must change sides, shame must change sides“, he now says, not all children bounce back the same way.
“Some people, like the singer Mika, have managed to rebuild themselves as an individual, despite being bullied at school. To avoid being demolished by an entire group, they have taken the counterweight and even gone so far as to make it a “trademark” of their personality”, confides Mathilde Royol.Despite everything, we cannot generalize: some children or adolescents will, for life, feel a feeling of shame with a traumatic impact on their mental health as adults..
The child psychologist answers this question straight away.
“The child must be helped to develop several areas of sociability. For example, if he is rejected at school, try to maximize social ties with family (little cousins), friends and friends’ children… This range of connections will allow him to be comforted in his personality.“, concludes the expert.
Of course, other solutions exist to help the child or adolescent get out of this situation, which also involves the school and peers.
Making an appointment with your child’s school, college or high school is recommended in order to discuss the situation in detail.
You can also contact the reporting line of your academy or call the national number (3018).
At the same time, the child can find support from a student ambassador for the fight against bullying.
“Prevention workshops can also be offered to children, within the school or by childcare professionals, in order to help them better understand what happens in bullying situations and give them strategies to learn to avoid certain traps“, confide Mathilde Royol and Magali Rebattel, who reveal their method of preventing harassment in a book entitled “Marcel Patouche”, published by Hogrefe.