France steps up anti-bullying measures in schools

france bullying

The French government has announced a series of new measures aimed at preventing and dealing with bullies at schools, following Monaco’s lead, which passed anti-bullying legislation in August last year.  

France started its campaign against harassment and bullying in 2017, and though it was a bit of a slow burn at first, efforts have recently been ramped up.  

Pap Ndiaye, France’s Minister of National Education and Youth, has now announced the strengthening of previous measures to prevent harassment, or in the case where it is too late for that, to deal with bullies effectively and quickly.  


Recent statistics show that one in 10 children has experienced some form of school bullying at one point or another. The damage it does can run deep and has led to desperation so entrenched that the victims have withdrawn, become depressed or, in extreme cases, committed suicide.  

The government has defined school bullying as “repetitive physical, verbal or psychological violence perpetrated by one or more students against one of their classmates”, which covers pretty much all bases, but now additional terms have been laid out to clarify any grey areas.  


Firstly, the pHARe programme, the current anti-bullying plan, will be extended to include secondary schools, with the goal of reaching 100% of schools from the start of next school year. At present, 86% of colleges and 60% of schools overall are registered, which is strong, but not entirely comprehensive, leaving some students to fall between the cracks.  

The government will also reiterate the use of dedicated emergency hotline numbers – 3020 for harassment and 3018 for cyberbullying – as ways for victims or witnesses of bullying to send evidence of incidents to authorities to better help those being bullied.  

Teacher training will also be stepped up, with the National Higher Institutes of Teaching and Education (INSPE) and the Academic Schools of Continuing Education (EAFC) participating in programmes to prepare teachers to recognise and take action against harassers. 

The government is also looking to proactively bring parents and students together to try and resolve differences and end bad behaviours, but failing this, school officials will be given extra powers to remove perpetrators from the school.


Monaco has had an anti-bullying law on the books since August 2022, as reported by Monaco Life, and has similar methods in place, but goes further in that an “appropriate and dissuasive criminal response” can be enacted in cases where the bullying has been repetitive or extreme.  


New school bullying law to come into effect in September


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