Member of the Finnish Parliament, Tiina Elovaara of the Finns Party, has proposed a bill to make a legislative addition to the educational law. The bill is set to tighten the law regarding bullying at school. The aim is to alter escalated situations at schools so that instead of the one being bullied having to change schools, the bully should be transferred elsewhere. In her press release Elovaara refers to director Arto Halonen’s latest feature documentary film White Rage which deals with bullying being connected to school shootings.
Arto Halonen comments on the bill: “Tiina Elovaara’s bill is an important opening. Without concrete actions no changes can be made, neither in stopping bullying at school. Concrete actions increase responsibility and enable more efficient tools to be used in interfering with and preventing cumulated violence provoked by bullying. I hope that Tiina’s bold proposal is the first step to criminalising bullying at school.”
White Rage, premiered in November 2015, has generated wide public discussion on how to prevent bullying at school. The Finnish Association of Mental Health along with Koulukino ry have been working together in an educational campaign. A learning material for schools was provided based on the documentary film. White Rage has received a lot of attention both in Finland and abroad. The film has recently been screened at One World -festival in Prague, and it is also part of the on-going programme of Thessaloniki International Film Festival.
Member of Parliament, Tiina Elovaara’s entire press realease is attached below:
Press release 18.3.2016
Elovaara of the Finns Party: BULLYING can lead to massacre
There have been witnessed many severe consequences of bullying in Finland. Member of Parliament, Tiina Elovaara of the Finns Party, has proposed a bill which includes an important addition to the educational law.
In situations where bullying has lead to a great conflict, it is typically the one being bullied who has to move to anohter school. The aim of the bill is to change the law so that the one bullying should primarily be the one to change schools. This would apply on situations where a student is causing severe physical or mental harm to another pupil.
The main idea of the bill is to stop serious bullying cases by enabling the bully to be transferred to another school more easily. The current system, in which the victim is transferred, does not send the right signal of how bullying should be reacted to.
Film director Arto Halonen has also addressed this issue in his feature documentary film White Rage. Halonen meritoriously depicts what cruel bullying can ultimately lead to. It has
been stated that behind several school shootings there has been a person bullied at school. It is known that 65 % of students in 8th and 9th grade feel that teachers do not intervene enough when it comes to bullying at school. Tuomas Kurttila, the Ombudsman for Children in Finland has brought this matter into public.
Elovaara’s bill affects the legislation by bringing means to interfere with bullying in order to stop it. The message is that transferring the victim is not a solution unless the victim self wishes to be transferred.
MP Tiina Elovaara (Finns Party)
+358 50 386 8706