In the midst of the digital age, cases of cyberbullying teachers in Spain have fallen by half. Specifically, these practices have gone from occupying 10% of the problems addressed by the Teachers’ Ombudsman in the 2021-2022 academic year to representing only 5% of them between 2022 and 2023. But what is the reason for this notable decrease? The ANPE teaching union undoubtedly points to a star factor: “The Master Plan of the Ministry of the Interior”
In its state report on the service carried out by the Teachers’ Ombudsman during the last academic year, presented this November, the group has portrayed what have been the main problems that educational centers have faced in the last year. In this sense, among all the issues that persist and increase, the fact that cases of cyberbullying against teachers have fallen by 50% has led teachers to gratefully point out the “great awareness-raising work” carried out in the classrooms by the National Police and the Guard Civil.
According to the teachers and the Security Forces and Corps, the implementation of what is officially known as the Master Plan for Coexistence and Improvement of Security in Educational Centers and Their Environments has marked a before and after in Spanish schools and institutes. that have implemented it: “Things change in class when professionals in uniform talk about crimes,” comments from ANPE.
What does it consist of?
The Master Plan is an initiative launched by the Ministry of the Interior and that encompasses different actions in the educational community with the aim of pursuing and preventing any risk that affects the safety and well-being of the youngest in school and its environment. This strategy includes everything from permanent access by the school to an expert with whom to consult any problem related to security, to meetings with police experts and talks with students.
It is this last part that has been key for educational centers: “They are informed of the seriousness of the use of new technologies as tools to humiliate, insult and harass teachers and classmates (…) They are trained in responsible use.” The simple fact of warning minors that all this can be a crime makes them “aware” of the seriousness of their actions, as some ANPE teachers have been able to verify.
The information sessions are given by citizen participation police experts, last approximately 45 minutes and are carried out in primary, secondary, high school and even universities. Furthermore, as police sources explain, they are carried out in both public and private or subsidized centers if requested.
More than 500 agents involved
Last year, 30,712 training actions took place in Spain. A total of 545 Citizen Participation agents were in charge of disseminating in schools the instruments that citizens and, in this specific case, students and teachers, have for the detection, prevention and reporting of criminal and antisocial behavior.
The National Police assures that, based on the “good results that have been obtained”, this 2023-2024 academic year the Corps will further intensify the fight against bullying and cyberbullying through this strategy. The teachers, for their part, assure that, despite the undeniable success of this initiative, cases of this nature continue to be present and “that a single teacher is a victim of these events is something serious that we must continue to report.”
Finally, it should be noted that the Master Plan also covers issues such as disappearances, the protection of personal data, drug use and human trafficking. Precisely from the Armed Institute they highlight that the actions are adapted to the main problems faced by the educational centers themselves or the different localities and regions where they occur.