School may be one of the most influential institution in children’s lives, ranking just below family and home. In the best of cases, schools are safe and encouraging spaces where children gain the knowledge and skills they need to navigate adult life. It’s also where children cultivate friendships and form peer groups – pivotal steps towards adult socialization. Every child should have the right to go to school and learn in safety, but for far too many young people around the world, school is dangerous. Around 150 million students from 13 to 15 years old have experienced peer-to-peer violence.
(Above) In the city of Puerto Cortés, Honduras, 16-year-old Geraldine has been bullied repeatedly at school. "I suffered physical abuse. I changed schools, but it went on,” she says. “I was hit hard in the face. Nobody said ‘I'm sorry’. I became depressed and started cutting myself,” she adds. “I thought schools were supposed to support you, not destroy you.”