Apprentis d’Auteuil barometer: 8 out of 10 young people victims of violence at school
Beyond the harassment that affects a million young people a year, as Emmanuel Macron pointed out the day before the start of the new school year, the Barometer of Education for Apprentis d’Auteuil, published Thursday, October 13 in partnership with OpinionWay, shows a much larger and alarming phenomenon. According to this survey, carried out in August 2022 among a representative sample of more than 1,000 young French people aged 15 to 20 as well as 1,000 parents, 74% of young people believe that school is a place conducive to learning. expression of violence and 29% do not feel safe there. The school institution is also perceived as violent by 81% of their parents.
This widespread phenomenon takes multiple forms: mainly verbal violence for 64% of the young people questioned (insults, mockery, etc.), but also psychological (moral harassment, cyberbullying, sexism, racism, etc.) for 44%, and physical violence (fights, thefts, etc.). ) for 38%. The most serious forms of violence are also very frequent: 15% of young people report having been beaten, 14% of sexism, sexual harassment or sexual violence, 9% have taken part in dangerous games (Tik Tok challenges, games from Squid Games, game of the scarf…).
This violence in the school environment affects girls and boys without distinction of gender and is overwhelmingly acts of young people against other young people (75% of young people say they have suffered at least one act of violence from another student during their schooling).
However, 43% of young people say they have suffered violence from an adult at school at least once. This can be humiliations with regard to their school results, insults and even harassment in 10% of cases. The mother of young Julien, now in college, remembers the state of stress in which her son was, when, in primary school, the teachers kept belittling and humiliating him because, “As a perfectionist child, he was so diligent that it made him slower than the other students. For his physical and mental health, we had to change schools “, confides the mother of the young boy. The survey confirms that school violence can have serious consequences for those who experience it and unanimously qualify it as « traumatic ». Nearly half of young victims feel a loss of self-confidence, while 27% become dropouts, as many are victims of school phobia and 22% develop physical or mental pathologies.
Worryingly, while eight out of ten students say they have suffered at least one of these attacks, only 65% of the parents questioned say they are aware of violence suffered by their child. Nothing surprising in this when 18% of victims claim not to tell anyone. In question, the lack of confidence in adults and the feeling that denouncing what they are going through would only make the situation worse. This is exactly what Jérémie, now a high school student, says: “In 6th grade, a group of girls started verbally harassing me, making fun of my strabismus. After a few weeks, I opened up about it to a supervisor who told me that I was a boy and that I had only to defend myself. The girls learned that I had complained to an adult and then started beating me when I entered and left school… This only stopped when my father, who had noticed the marks of beatings, intervened. » This testimony illustrates the need to train educators and teachers to give them the means to put an end to violence.
As the sanction is sometimes counterproductive, some establishments are experimenting with innovative methods. Thus Émilie Chiandetti, educator, has set up with the team of her high school in the South West of France a “non-blaming” system, which aims to change the behavior of the aggressors. “When we notice that a pupil is excluded or the victim of teasing, we summon the pupils who mistreat him and give them the following speech: “We have noticed that your friend is in difficulty. And you ? » Often they deny. We then ask them, because they seem to be influential figures in the group, to let us know if they notice anything… This way of acting does not categorize them as aggressors and gives them a chance to challenge their behavior and change it. »Most often it works. The high school team also receives the victim and his parents to explain the process to them. “In general, their wish is that the harassment stops as soon as possible. Thus, they accept that the aggressors will not be sanctioned if the situation calms down” , says the young woman. But for that, you need trained educational teams, able to spot the beginnings of violence to prevent it from getting worse.
This is all the more true as they sometimes begin very early in a child’s school life. If the secondary school is the place where the violence is mainly concentrated (71% of 15-20 year olds say they have suffered it during this period), the acts of violence occur from an early age: 30% of young people say they have been victims of violence. from kindergarten and primary school. They are even 6% to have known them before 6 years. And Pascale Lemaire-Toquec, director of educational resources at the Apprentis d’Auteuil to conclude: “All forms of violence against young people are unacceptable and must be the subject of prevention actions and policies, in order to ensure that each child and each young person benefits from an educational environment conducive to their learning and development. development. »A subject still largely underestimated by the public authorities and which they are invited to take up.