RTL under fire for bullying program

Various schools are outraged about a new television from RTL 5 that attempts to shine a light on bullying. Some of the images seem to have been recorded in secret, prompting some schools to take the matter to court in an effort to keep the images off the national screens. 

On Friday last week, the Einstein Lyceum in Hoogvliet demanded RTL not use certain images, and Het Goese Lyceum in Goes as well as Het Noordik in Vriezenveen condemned the means that the programmers used to come by the footage for the program: Project P: Stop the bullying (stop het pesten), presented by Johnny de Mol and Dennis Weening.

On Wednesday, the Einstein Lyceum decided to go to the judge to lawfully ban the images from being published outright. School directors say that the interests of the children must come first. "These have been carefully weighed, and that is where this decision came from", a spokesperson for the school says.

In the interest of all pupils, even the bullied ones, the schools don't think that the broadcasting of these images would work in their favor.

From these schools, RTL 5 was ordered to remove the secretly recorded images from the program, they had until 4 p.m. Wednesday to do so. The channel did not comply with these demands.

A spokesperson for RTL said on Wendesday that they are still discussing a reaction to the tensions. Director Wim Drenth of Het Noordik says that the recording of these images in secret is "very dangerous." "If recordings of bullying are so haphazardly put out in the open, that does more harm than good."

In the end, the school did work together with the program, but under their own conditions. Pupils must not be recognizable on screen, and they must not be affected by the recordings at a later time. Drenth wants to view the images before they are broadcast to make sure these conditions have been met.

Parents are against the broadcasting of the images. They don't want their children to be associated with the the program. Producers and RTL promised the Goese Lyceum that they would not use the images objected to in Project P.

Of the methods used by the makers of Project P, Headmaster of the school in Goes, Leo de Kraker, uses the word "rude." "A child must be able feel free and move freely at school. That is impossible if it later appears that you have been secretly filmed. The program makers hereby create an unsafe situation."

The first episode of Project P will be broadcast on Monday the 28th of April.