Friends Report 2016
For the first time with
results from K-3 grade
You can support or work against bullying.
Bullying effects 60,000 children and young people in Sweden every year.
15,000 children and adolescents in grades 3-9 answered questions about bullying in school.
The results show that four of ten students feel unsafe somewhere at school. Also, one in four students are afraid to be alone at recess.
13,245 students from preschool to grade 3 have answered questions about safety and security, wellbeing and degrading treatment in their everyday at school.
— Several of the young people I have met through work tell me that their prolonged exposure started already in preschool. My conclusion is that we need to give the youngest ones a safe school, then the risk of being exposed later in life will diminish, says Friends’ Secretary General Lars Arrhenius.
– This emphasizes that the preventive work needs to start early, which is one of Friends’ demands. With preventive work we have everything to gain, both on human and socioeconomic levels. Our report “the cost of bullying” shows that bullying occurring in Swedish schools during one year costs society 17.5 billion SEK during the next 30 years.
Friends has, like earlier years, also asked questions to students in grade 3-6 and 6-9, and staff. Other interesting results from this year’s questionnaires:
– Teachers, preschool teachers and other staff have to get a reasonable chance to meet the Swedish Education Act’s demand on their efforts to create a safe school environment. The responsibility rests heavily on the school authorities, says Lars Arrhenius.
The report is based on data from Friends’ analysis service, where 34,319 children and adolescents have answered questions about safety and security, bullying and degrading treatment. The respondents comprise 13,245 students in preschool to grade 3, 11,000 students in grades 3–6 and 10,074 students in grades 6–9. The staff survey had 3,567 responses. Of these, 2,938 were teachers and 118 were school administrators. The participating schools have not been chosen by Friends, but all have chosen to have Friends assist them in identifying and analyzing the situation in their respective school.
– Money is really not what interests us in the first place. The highest price is human, and it is paid by the children subjected to bullying and violations. But when our politicians receive figures on the economic losses of society due to bullying, there is an increased pressure on them to act, says Friends’ Secretary General Lars Arrhenius.
Friends has involved the economist Ingvar Nilsson and his team, who have done socio-economic calculations with methods they have developed during the last 30 years. They have calculated on what kind of costs bullying generates for different actors in society – school, municipality, county or state – short term and long term.
Friends has also developed a web-based tool where you can calculate the costs for your municipality or county. The tool also allows you to see how much bullying normally costs schools, depending on their number of students. You can find the tool at Mobbningenskostnader.se (only in Swedish).
The report’s most important conclusions:
* The bullying that affects students in Sweden during one year, costs Swedish society approximately 17.5 billion SEK during the following 30 years. For a municipality with about 50,000 people the cost would be approximately 81 million SEK.
* Bullying that occurs for one year in a school with approximately 1,000 students, costs society approximately 14 million SEK during the following 30 years. The same amount of money would have paid for 25 annual salaries for counselors, teachers or school nurses.
* There is a risk that the decision making is inhibited. Slightly exaggerated, it is the principal that has to budget for the preventive effort, while the head of the municipal social service office or the political majority in the county are the ones who gain from the profit made, five or twenty years later.
– We have to start thinking long term. Our study confirms that Sweden cannot afford the enormous price of bullying – neither human, nor economic, says Lars Arrhenius.