• Sweden edition
 

Many bullied students go without compensation

Published: 22 Apr 2011 10:53 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 Apr 2011 10:53 GMT+02:00

Five years after the law against abuse and discrimination in schools came into force, 66 students have received a total of 3.7 million kronor ($606,000) in damages.

However more than 3,000 cases have been written off and closed despite the fact that many of the students were subjected to bullying, as reported by Sverige's Radio (SR).

“Although it is established that a pupil has been subjected to a serious violation, it is not enough for me to seek damages,” Child and Student Ombudsman Lars Arrhenius from the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen) told SR.

“One must also have failed to have taken reasonable measures. In some cases, we found that the student had been subjected to insults, but the school took it seriously, investigated the situation and took strong measures to stop it. Then I cannot claim damages in those situations.”

Through February of this year, 3,215 complaints have been filed from students who felt violated.

Of them, 66 received compensation, with 27 of those having been violated by a teacher, not bullied by a student.

Amounts paid out have varied between 5,000 kronor ($820) and, at the highest, 246,000 kronor ($40,300), which was paid by south Sweden’s Höörs municipality to a seriously bullied pupil in Ringsjö School.

While 44 students are waiting to hear whether or not they will receive compensation from claims put forth by the Office of the Child and Student Ombudsman (BEO), the office has taken another 698 complaints directly to the principals, criticizing their negligence to stop bullying but not seeking any remuneration.

This means that a total of 3,105 cases will not advance for various reasons, such as some might not be offended, some are not sufficiently injured as stipulated by the law, and others may be difficult to prove if it’s word against word.

If a school has taken solid steps to stop bullying and measures are unsuccessful, damages are still not sought.

TT/The Local/kh (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:45 April 22, 2011 by Neel Bertelsen
Hi,

Bullying is a subject that many Swedish schools do not want to get involved with. Our daughter was in school in Helsingborg and the horendious amounts of bullying in the school were unspeakable. When I approached the school it was said we are dealing with it. The way the problem of bullying is dealt with is another fiasco.

I have been working with Bullying problems in schools through out our childs schooling year from steping stone to graduation.

It is not about compensation it is about teaching all the bullying is not right and is unacceptable and bullying is not just about the victim but also the bullier himself/ herself. If laws are put down correctly and awareness is brought in the classrooms not only just to the children but also the teachers bullying will gradually cut down.

You need to run programs in schools for parents too after school. As the education of bullying is most originated within the family at home. From here it is brought into the school system, parks, play areas etc. If you run awarness in bullying as to how serious it can become and that there willl be a heavy disciplinary aciton, most will stay away from bullying.

A child or teacher both should be given 3 strikes, again depending on the severity of the action performed. If too server 3 strikes can be implimented right away, Suspend the child from school for a number of days, Speak to the child making him/her aware of the consequences of what might be. No one likes to be bullied, play and toy with this fact with the bullier, for he/she is also being bullied. One who is bullying others is also a victimm in the sense of being bullied away from school. Find out what and why does the child/ren undergo such acts of disruption and hurt to others. Maybe then the schooling system here will get some where. The most important thing is to realize and act on it and speak about it to the whole class or school about such acts instead of bottling, hiding and throwing away the key, just like when there is lifting of property too from the students. Where there is no search allowed. I believe that the schools here should undergo a change and have a new pair of eyes and ears working with abuse problems of any kind in schools.
14:14 April 22, 2011 by Stickeroo
Compensation??? Really??? How about boxing lessons instead! How about giving the schools and teachers a little bit of power to actually force punishment for the messed up kids that don't follow the rules. Whatever happened to detention? Or writing on the board 100 times? Or having to spend the lunch hour alone in the classroom? They need to give their heads a shake!
15:26 April 22, 2011 by HYBRED
The article doesn't state any examples of what the bullying was. But it sets a bad precident paying damages for bullying. Now people will try to cash in over any frivilous thing. Maybe if someone looks cross-eyed at another they will have to pay damages.

Kids learning to handle these situations helps build charactor because it doesn't end when you leave school. There are always situations in life when you run into someone that is overbearing or intimidating. Deal with it.
18:38 April 22, 2011 by mkvgtired
"Now people will try to cash in over any frivilous thing." very true. And since the municipality is paying two kids could get together, one could bully the other and both could split the proceeds. Why would the municipality pay and not the parents of the bully?
19:02 April 22, 2011 by black boy
They need to compensation ,, all the Black children in sweden for all of our abuse s
19:33 April 22, 2011 by HYBRED
@black boy

If you have a problem with Sweden I'm sure your welcome to leave and go back to your place of origin. Things are probably much better there. But I guess if it was so much better there you wouldn't be here?
21:01 April 22, 2011 by Frobobbles
I thought the important thing was to stop bullying, not to give out wages.
22:05 April 22, 2011 by Horace
@HYBRED

That's a really immature thing to say. Why not solve the problem instead of telling others to leave?
22:09 April 22, 2011 by StockholmSam
I agree that the parents of the bully should be the ones paying, not all of us with our tax dollars.
07:38 April 23, 2011 by HYBRED
@Horace

I didn't tell him to leave, I simply made him aware of the option. As a immigrant I have had incidents of "abuse", but I wouldnt think of claiming compensation. I just get even. So save your "maturity" lecture.
10:45 April 23, 2011 by Horace
@HYBRED

So can you describe what you did to get even?
13:16 April 23, 2011 by calebian22
Horace,

What has worked to stop bullys for generations? A bloody nose! Violence does have it's place in society. A liberal wouldn't understand that though.
14:53 April 23, 2011 by Swedesmith
Precis! Look at the badger. No animal f's with the badger because they know that the badger will fight to the death if cornered.
16:13 April 23, 2011 by technoviking
Only Sweden would think throwing tax payer money away is a solution to bullying.

How does this stop the problem???

Yes, bullying is terrible. Why in the world would they not spend the money trying to stop bullying instead of incentivizing it?

I'm sure 50% of these "claims" are already parasites trying to game the system. You can rest assured they wouldn't allow something like this to just pass them by...
18:57 April 23, 2011 by Puffin
It seems that many here do not understand the way the system works - compensation only comesup as an issue at all in cases of persistent bullying where the kommun has failed to act despite the issue being repeatedly brought to their attention

In fact from personal experience the mains íssue is that rektors and kommuns blatantly lie to evade criticism

It is also much more difficultfor disabled children to be awarded compensation
10:12 April 24, 2011 by Rick Methven
All the people posting here advocating violence as a solution for bullying, all make very bullying posts suggesting that they are bullies or at least find nothing wrong with bullying. Using violence to confront bullies will only turn the victim into a bully and is NEVER a solution.

Bullying can have a devastating effect on a young person and has caused some to commit suicide. A lot of it nowadays is not physical but cyber bulling via text messages and emails using pseudonyms to hide their cowardly actions.

I have seen what bullying can do to a young persons self esteem and have seen school heads deny that it goes on in THEIR school.
09:27 April 25, 2011 by Deusultima
I guess it could be worded like suing the municipality for not performing their duty of keeping a "bully-free" environment in the schools, but it doesn't make it any less stupid. The ones who are in the end responsible and should pay potential monetary reparations are the bully and/or its guardians.
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