Teenagers should not be given a mobile before they are 14 years old. This is a command that all the psychologists consulted repeat like a mantra. Silvia Álava, from the Álava Reyes Center, explains why: “Before that age, young people are not mature enough to understand the dangers that are not the phone itself, but the network, as that information that you hang it goes viral, you can not erase it, that video where you hit another boy will chase you the rest of your life ».
The reach of the digital storefront is the platform that many teenagers choose precisely to “make themselves known”: let’s say they like to “boast of being the class bully” and are proud of the reputation they create, regardless of the consequences of everyone seeing it, experts comment. Including the Police.
And that is precisely what happened a few days ago in Arrecife (Lanzarote), where the discussion about a “boys affair” led to the hands of two youngsters of 13 and 14 years old, who kicked on the ground and beat another, leaving her badly hurt “I’m sorry, I did not want to do it, but you’ve earned it, ” one of the aggressors is heard to say, berating the victim who has “flirted” with a young man who attracts him. The ones that hit are two, while a third girl records the scene, laughs and spreads it.
Lucia lived tormented
Mata talks about the case of Lucía, the youngest of 13 years old who recently took her own life by assuring that she would not endure the harassment to which she was subjected by several kids. Her mother found her hanged in her room. He lived in the hamlet of Aljucer, in the Region of Murcia and the police inquiries to determine the degree of responsibility of the bullies continue open. It was, for her companions, “fat and ugly” and she felt terribly miserable , she says her own suicide note. As explained to this newspaper by the Ministry of Education of Murcia, the tormented girl was schooled in three centers, the CEIP Sculptor González Moreno de Aljucer, the IES Engineer of the Cierva and ended up changing center toIES Licensed Cascales. Sources of the Ministry assure that “the protocols of action were activated, in collaboration with the family of Lucia, who requested the change of educational center and this one was executed. In addition, teachers and students were involved in supporting and monitoring the young person ». But it did not work.
For the only Juvenile Defender institution remaining in Spain, that of Andalusia, the change of center has also been shown to be ineffective in the recent cases that have plagued this community. ANAR has stated that in “92% of cases of cyberbullying that call the phone, the child had a psychological problem”, that a change of school or institute does not solve. And both Mata and the psychologist Álava point out the indicators of this pattern: “The victim suffers from low self-esteem, suddenly has a lot of appetite or stops eating completely, suffers from sleep disorders, lowers his school performance…” and one more element: suicidal ideations are repeated in many young people who call 900 20 20 10 of this Foundation for attention to the problems of young people, as well as self-harm. The last case happened in Fuerteventura, where the parents of a 13-year-old girl who said she was “persecuted” by her roommates avoided the attempt on January 13.
«They do not ask for help»
To address the treatment of young people involved in cases of harassment and cyberbullying, psychologists are committed to teaching empathize both the victim and the aggressor. They show the first a style of assertive behavior, to respond, with their opinion, and defend themselves without entering the game of the harasser; and the second they teach him to understand what the victim can feel on his skin.
“Unfortunately the parents of the victim come to the consultations, but the parents of the bullies do not ask for help, because they believe that with a punishment it is passed and now. But their violence can not go unpunished, and at home you have to give it the importance it has. This adolescent needs help, we must educate children on what and what can not be done on social networks, and their parents should review their children’s publications on their profiles very often, “advises Álava, author of the book «We want happy children». “It’s not spying, because you’re the legal person responsible for that child . In addition, your child sees that what appears in his account is public, not private, “he adds.
Another explanation is provided by the director at ANAR. Lawyer, Mata recounts that too often the minor who assaults receives violence at home. “Every day we see these cases on the phone, and the problem is in the background: violence calls violence and must be stopped at the root.”
The reeducation of the child
Under 14 years old
Protected by the Juvenile Law, young people who have not reached the age of 14 who commit a crime are unimputable. The system of juvenile justice in Spain has the reeducation of the child, not punishment, explains the lawyer Leticia Mata.
Expulsion of the aggressor
Conflicts of violence between minors under 14 years of age must be resolved by adopting disciplinary measures at the school, such as opening a file and expelling the aggressor, as well as working with a psychosocial team.