The recent and perhaps preventable suicide of a 14-year-old girl in Baku has brought the topic of school bullying to the forefront on Azerbaijan
One of three students in Baku schools is subject to bullying, a report published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reads.
Almost 7,000 students in 197 Baku schools were interviewed over the course of the study, of which 36% said that at least several times a month they are bullied at school.
Forms of bullying mentioned by students included taunting, intimidating, spreading rumours, being beaten up, or having their personal belongings destroyed or stolen.
Moreover, more than 70% of respondents said that they were disgusted by examples of bullying and are saddened when nobody intervenes.
Also, every fourth student said that he feels lonely at school.
The suicide of 14-year-old Elina Hajiyeva several months back has brought the issue of school bullying to the forefront of public discussion in Azerbaijan.
In the spring of 2019, Elina threw herself out of her school window, because other students constantly teased and bullied her while the school administration turned a blind eye to this.
Earlier the topic of bullying was rarely raised in Azerbaijan, but since the death of Elina Hajiyeva, the public has actively taken up the cause, in part because school staff waited several hours before calling an ambulance. Later, hospital staff did not admit her parents in to see her.
As part of the fight against bullying, the Ministry of Education has prepared a video on how teachers and parents should pay more attention to their children.
A hotline has also appeared to which a student can complain to the ministry about bullying and other related problems.