Bullying is a growing worldwide problem that’s affecting children of all races and social classes. Sadly, to some, it might seem like a major problem with no solution in sight, but the Finnish school system has set out to solve this crisis with a bullying prevention program set to change the country nationwide. Pay attention, because THIS is how you kick bullying to the curb!
IT’S SHEER TORTURE
Bullied kids from grades K through 12 will suffer multiple physical and emotional attacks throughout the week, leading to long-lasting, and possibly permanent psychological scarring that can lead to serious mental health issues.
THE TIMELESS ISSUE
Chances are you’ve been bullied or someone you know has been. But you’re not alone, countless generations have gone through this form of physical and emotional abuse growing up, and it has to stop. Now Finland, known for being ahead of times, has found a way to rip bullying a new one!
KIVA, SHORT FOR…
The Finnish education system has created KiVa, which is short for kiusaamista vastaan, which means “against bullying” and will hopefully do just that when the program gets implemented nationwide. Enough is enough!
CHANGE THROUGH KNOWLEDGE
The program is intended to educate students about the consequences of bullying as well as to train them on how to stop bullying if they see it happening to their fellow peers. Essentially, they’ll be there when teachers aren’t around to put a stop to it.
KIVA’S GOING VIRAL
The program has gained so much attention that other countries like Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK are already testing the program in their schools. Also, the U.S., which has a high number of reported bullying related incidents, is also considering using this program as well.
LET’S PLAY VIDEO GAMES
The program’s form of education involves the use of video games to act as simulations so that kids can become familiar with the number of different scenarios involving bullying. The computer games are followed up with in-class lessons as well.
CHOOSE YOUR STORY
The program is similar to those choose-your-story games, and in this case, you get to be the hero because these models allow kids to determine how to react when they see bullying in progress.
STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH
Johanna Alanen, KiVa’s International Project Manager described the program like this, “Students might witness a bullying incident and they have to decide what to do: whether to defend the victim or do something else… Their choices have consequences and lead to new situations.”
CUTTING THE PROBLEM IN HALF
According to Jaana Juvonen, a professor at UCLA, KiVas has reduced the risk of students being bullied by almost half. The long-term results will ultimately benefit the Finnish educational community in ways it never imagined.
A THING OF THE PAST
Prevention, intervention, and monitoring are the key to tackle and eventually diminish the cases of bullying effectively. Although the program has taken on quite a challenge, it might finally put an end to bullying for good. Now, when are we getting our very own KiVa at home?