MONTREAL, April 7 / CNW Telbec / - “Three years after the unveiling of a first survey on cyberbullying, the CSQ is able to confirm today that the phenomenon is growing and that the action plan to counter violence at school has not yielded the expected results, ”said Réjean Parent, president of the Centrale des unions du Québec (CSQ), on the occasion of the unveiling of the results of a major CROP poll on the phenomenon of cyberbullying carried out for the CSQ. These results were presented today at a press conference at Jacques-Rousseau High School in Longueuil.
The survey shows that victims of cyberbullying are mainly students (81 %), mostly girls (72 %) more than boys (40 %). Compared to 2008, there is a significant increase since 40 % of respondents claimed to know at least one person who had been the target of cyberbullying, compared to 27 % in 2008. This most often takes the form of defamatory comments (37 %) , unpleasant comments on appearance (35 %), insults of a sexual nature (going from 9 % in 2008 to 15 % in 2011) and of a homophobic nature (6 %).
Contrary to popular belief, a large proportion of victims know the perpetrator or perpetrators of cyberbullying against them (79 %). These would be students in 88 % cases. Boys (52 %) are said to be predominantly perpetrators of cyberbullying in cases where it is practiced by a single individual, while girls (54 %) tend to be the perpetrators in cases carried out by a group.
Serious consequences for the victims, but the staff are helpless
The vast majority (94 %) of CSQ member staff surveyed believe that the consequences of cyberbullying for victims are serious, even very serious for 46 % of them.
"The survey also confirms what I hear in the field, that is to say that people are helpless in the face of the phenomenon of violence and that schools have an educational role to play in order to raise awareness among them. young people and adults to this problem. We must take care of it and help those struggling with violence, ”adds Jasmin Roy, president of the Jasmin Roy Foundation. In fact, three out of four respondents say that educational institutions are helpless when it comes to a phenomenon such as cyberbullying.
It is not surprising, in this context, that the surveyed staff want more sustained engagement from the educational institution. However, just 18 % of respondents in 2011 indicate that their educational institution has formal rules that are understood and applied. And when there are rules around cyberbullying within their institution, just over a third (36 %) of members say few know about it.
Staff seem less targeted
As in 2008, we observe that 5 % of school staff have been victims of cyberbullying since the beginning of their careers. However, teachers in private establishments and CEGEPs are twice as likely to be the target (10 %) and the majority (60 %) are targeted by email. Social networks seem to be the new means favored by cyberbullying perpetrators, judging by a significant increase in their use (27 % in 2011 compared to 3 % in 2008).
The perpetrators of cyberbullying against education personnel are predominantly students, and they seem to come together more to take action. While in 2008 the perpetrators were a student (41 % of cases) or a group of students (4 %), today the authors are a group of students in 65 % cases.
“We have several reported cases of cyberbullying among staff, such as identity theft or email bullying. This is of great concern and can cause significant harm to victims. Here, we have decided to act and the results are significant, both for the students and for the staff, ”says Ms. Longtin, principal of Jacques-Rousseau school.
Little is known about the action plan of the Ministère de l'Éducation
In 2008, the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS) unveiled its plan to counter violence in school boards and private establishments, entitled Violence in schools: it's worth the act. . Only one in four people (27 %) said that the MELS plan was implemented in their workplace. More troubling still, 36 % of respondents do not know whether or not it has been implemented in their school. Yet this plan is in its third and final year of application. Half of the people questioned (49 %) affirm that the phenomenon of violence has remained stable since the implementation of the ministry's action plan.
“Three years after the implementation of the plan, the results are slow to be felt. We call on the Minister of Education to commit to continuing and improving the action plan to ensure a healthy living environment free from violence. Among other things, a monitoring system making it possible to better target and identify violence in establishments seems essential to us. We do not understand that the MELS did not follow up on this recommendation, which would allow us to see more clearly and act more effectively, ”adds the president of the CSQ, Réjean Parent.
Note that the CSQ plays a major role in the fight against homophobia in the education network, and that it has published a guide entitled Social media: tools as useful as they are formidable. This guide provides a lot of practical information so that Centrale members know how to protect themselves when using social media like Facebook.
Survey objectives and methodology
Data was collected by telephone in February 2011 from 1,214 people working in the education sector and members of the CSQ. A similar survey was conducted in March 2008 and a comparison with the 2011 survey shows the evolution of this form of violence that is cyberbullying. The CROP firm was mandated by the CSQ to conduct this survey of its members working in the education network. The main objective of this survey was to assess the phenomenon of cyberbullying in Quebec schools. More specifically, the survey made it possible to measure the incidence of cyberbullying, to know its forms and contents and to identify the perpetrators. It also helped identify attitudes and perceptions towards cyberbullying. The survey results are based on 1,214 telephone interviews. The maximum margin of error associated with a sample of this size is 2.8 %, 19 times out of 20.
The full results of the CROP survey are available on the CSQ website.
The Centrale des unions du Québec represents some 180,000 members, including nearly 100,000 in the public sector, the vast majority in the education sector. It is the most important union organization in education and is a member of the Provincial Concertation Table on Violence, Youth and the School Environment and collaborates with the Pacific Institute. It has in its ranks more than 1000 Brundtland Green Establishments - a creation of the CSQ - which promote pacifism.
The mission of the Jasmin Roy Foundation is to fight bullying in schools and support victims of violence in schools. The foundation's goal is to ensure a healthy and safe environment for students by supporting all civic initiatives that fight against discrimination and violence in schools.
Jacques-Rousseau high school is a public school with more than 2,200 students. After some difficult events, management, staff, parents and police decided to work together and take action to reduce the phenomenon of violence at school, which has borne fruit.