“Let’s hope you kill yourself” – How Spain is failing bullying victims
Experts say that the authorities are doing little to help the growing number of young people who are dropping out of school and, in some cases, taking their own lives, because of abuse
the crux of the matter, the reason why families and institutions are constantly clashing over school bullying
Madrid regional authorities claim that cases of school harassment
are going down, but that is because it rejects most complaints: in the 2015-2016 academic school year, there were 573 complaints, of which only 179 were accepted.
In 2015, an 11-year-old boy named Diego killed himself
and left a suicide note behind: “I can’t stand going to school anymore, and there’s no other way to stop going.” The child had been attending a religious school in Villaverde, in the Madrid region. The courts twice dismissed an investigation into his death, ruling out harassment of any kind.
“We are flooded with complaints, but school bullying
is not listed in the criminal code. So other crimes have to be proven: physical injuries, crimes against moral integrity…,” says a spokesperson at the Madrid Juvenile Prosecution Service. In 2017 this department received 192 complaints and dismissed 81 because the individuals involved were under 14 and could not be held criminally liable.
more on bullying in this IMS blog