Bullying in School & Recreational Activities

Bullying and violence can have a lasting impact on the psyche of the sufferer. It should not be accepted school and recreational activities. Every workplace with child and youth activities has an anti-bullying plan to prevent and stop bullying whenever it is suspected. Parents who receive evidence or information about bullying should take it seriously.

What is bullying?

Bullying is when an individual is targeted by a single individual or a group of people with:

  • Repetitive teasing
  • Gestures
  • Derogatory words or lies
  • Psychological oppression
  • Threats
  • Social rejection or ostracism

Bullying also appears in social media interactions. It is the role of adults to ensure that children use the internet responsibly.

What do I do if my child is bullied?

  1. Talk to the child. Listen carefully to the child and show love and understanding.
  2. Talk to your school administrator or class teacher. They're in charge of finding out if it's bullying. If the bullying is confirmed, the school draws up a plan of action to eradicate the bullying. You can also contact the parent advisor at the Office of the Department of Education & Youth, tel. 411 1111 or email sfs@reykjavik.is.
  3. The school will plan how to combat the bullying. It is best to get the sufferer's permission to raise the issue. However, we must always bear in mind that it is the adults who are supposed to protect the child.
If the issue cannot be resolved within the school, school administrators and/or parents may seek the support of a service center, which has multidisciplinary teams of specialists.


What do I do if a school notifies me that my child is involved in bullying?

When the school tells you your child is bullying, it is normal to feel disappointed and shocked. It is important to note, however, that it is not helpful for the child to excuse, justify, or make light of the behavior. Addressing the issue seriously will help not only the tolerant, but also your child.

Studies show that children who exhibit violent behavior towards other children are at risk in terms of antisocial behavior. Therefore, it is necessary to guide the child towards better communication. The first step in this direction is to start a positive and purposeful partnership with the school.

Effects of Bullying

If a child is bullied, it will not be long before the child start to feel unwell, become fearful, unsafe, lonely, and defensive agains the other children. Confidence disappears, the child retracts and even becomes ill without visible illnesses.

Prolonged bullying causes stress, which can lead to serious problems such as unwanted behaviour, loss of appetite, and depression.

Who Makes Contact?

It is usually not recommended for the parents of sufferers to contact the perpetrators' parents themselves – or vice versa. We recommend having an administrator/class teacher in charge. A teacher calls a meeting with a child and parents, explains the situation, and seeks agreement on measures to stop the bullying. The agreement is then followed up in partnership with the parents.

Parents or schools may request the assistance of a special sectorial council acting under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Culture in the event of failure to find a satisfactory solution within a school or a municipality, despite repeated attempts at specialist intervention.

Friendly Community

The Friendly Community project resulted from the merger of preschools, primary schools, and recreational activities into a single department; Reykjavik City’s Department of Education & Youth. Friendly community refers to a community where everyone's conduct is characterized by respect, compassion, and responsibility. It does not allow bullying, but when needed, bullying is addressed in an orderly manner in accordance with the school/after-school center anti-bullying plan and Reykjavik policies.

Any other questions?

Contact Us: upplysingar@reykjavik.is

Phone Number: 411 1111

Reykjavik’s Department of Education & Youth employs a parent-school advisor. The advisor works on resolving cases of bullying in partnership with parents and Reykjavik City institutions.