Bullying and the right to education: legal and factual relevance
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School is an institution that ensures implementation of the right to education as a fundamental right of every child. It is an environment where children develop, excel, and acquire skills and knowledge with dignity, confidence and self-esteem. Education has a unique potential where nonviolent behavior can be learned and attitude condoning violence ousted.1 However, ordinary school days of millions of children are marred with by acts of violence and school, thus, the prospect of the right to education provided by the school system becomes rather a disillusion than an opportunity for many. Bullying, as form of violence among children, occurs anywhere where peers gather. However, due to obligatory duty to attend school until a certain age, school is precisely the environment where quantitatively children experience bullying the most, because it is the place where most children by way of imperative choice spend most of their time.2 The daunting reality supported by extensive statistical data and studies worldwide shows that bullying is a global phenomenon3 and it remains the most common form of violence in schools,4 is consistently related to each violence-related behavior among peers at school.5 Thus, the article offers factual analysis and legal insight into the correlation between the rights to education as both the right and a duty of the learner, and the right of the learner to acquire an education and attend a safe school, with particular focus on the issue of bullying at school among children. The structure of the correlation between the child, the school and bullying provides a strong background for discussion. The correlation provides basis for legal rationale and structure of the article, which includes an analysis of individual rights and duties related to compulsory education, as well as through factual analysis (on international and national levels) in regard to the prevalence of bullying among children at schools both, with particular focus on the case study of Lithuania.
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