Preventing bullying: workshops for school pedagogues in Tuzla and Bijeljina

Sarajevo Open Centre, starting with the end of 2017, has been implementing the project “Reducing peer violence/bullying”, with the support of the German Embassy (German Cooperation). Among other activities we have organised and plan to organise various activities. During April 2018 we held workshops on the topic of exchanging experience with the pedagogues and psychologists of primary schools in Tuzla (13-14 April) and Bijeljina (20-21 April) on the issue of the growing peer violence/bullying.

The moderators of the workshop were Belma Žiga, KBT and integrative psychotherapist for kids and adolescents (Foundation Wings of Hope) and Slobodanka Dekić, researcher and author of the publication As If I Were in Zoo: Violence Against LGBTI Students in High Schools in B&H.

In groups of around 10 participants, pedagogues and psychologists, the workshop moderators presented the project “Reducing peer violence/bullying” through the politics and programmes of prevention. There was discussion on the existing programmes and how to improve them. 

From the aspect of psychology, there was talk about the specific elements of adolescence and risk factors for the violence motivated by gender identity or real/supposed sexual orientation, and the moderators offered guidelines for the pedagogical-psychological services and teachers on prevention of all kinds of peer violence. The participants analysed the possible motives for excluding students through the discussion about the cases that appear in their daily school practice, and how to treat those cases. A special emphasis was put on transgender kids and ways of helping and supporting them in the process of self-discovery and integration with their peers.

In the following period we will continue with these workshops in Tuzla and Bijeljina, this time with NGOs and parents.