Schools obligated to report every case of bullying through renewed anti-bullying policy

Education minister stresses importance of respect in schools 

The renewed policy document, titled 'Addressing bullying behavior in schools', was launched today by education minister Evarist Bartolo who underlined the importance of respect in schools.

"This is not simply a policy against bullying but a policy for reciprocal respect between all players involved in the educational system," Bartolo said.

He explained that the policy will for the first time ever enforce the obligatory report of each case of bullying in schools.

Stressing the importance of having students on board in all efforts to address bullying, Bartolo said, "students have to understand that they have as many obligations as they have rights."

Underlining the importance of responsibility, the minister said that this cannot be achieved in schools if it is missing in families and communities. 

"If efforts to address bullying and embrace diversity are confined to schools, they will not work," he said.

The policy, first launched in 1999, underlines the drastic changes in the last 15 years, especially in light of the emergence of online social networks and increased diversity in Malta. 

The policy outlines the action required in bullying cases, which includes the intervention of the anti-bullying unit and guidance teachers. 

However Bartolo also underlined the importance of the reeducation of teachers and the inclusion of new subjects and values in the syllabus, "reflecting the diversity in society today."