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EDITORIAL: Ugly Face Of Bullying A Scourge In Our Schools

Students, teachers and parents should take heed of the Minister for Education, Culture and Arts, Mahendra Reddy’s warning on bullying in schools. Research has shown that bullying is comprised of
19 Aug 2015 09:47
EDITORIAL: Ugly Face Of Bullying A Scourge In Our Schools

Students, teachers and parents should take heed of the Minister for Education, Culture and Arts, Mahendra Reddy’s warning on bullying in schools.

Research has shown that bullying is comprised of direct behaviours such as teasing, taunting, threatening, hitting, and stealing that are initiated by one or more students against a victim.

In addition to direct attacks, bullying may also be more indirect by causing a student to be socially isolated through intentional exclusion.

While boys typically engage in direct bullying methods, girls who bully are more apt to use these more subtle indirect strategies, such as spreading rumors and enforcing social isolation.

Whether the bullying is direct or indirect, the key component of bullying is that the physical or psychological intimidation occurs repeatedly over time to create an ongoing pattern of harassment and abuse.

Mr Reddy’s tough line on bullying is timely and welcome in the wake of recent cases, in Queen Victoria School and Kadavu.

He said: “For students who are involved in bullying, they will have no place in the school dormitories.”

So far, two students from QVS, who were involved in bullying, last month, have been told to look for another school.

Mr Reddy will be looking into another case, which was reported to him by a parent of QVS.

In Vunisea High School in Kadavu, some students have been removed from the school and their parents have been informed.

Mr Reddy has stressed that bullying will not happen under their leadership.

Bullying has always existed in schools since time immemorial.

Sending the students out from school should be the last resort.

It is how bullying is handled that deserves attention here.

No one is born a bully; it is a behaviour children learn from those around them.

Bullying is wrong and it must  be stopped

Many schools around the country have counsellors and they should be trained in early detection and intervention during counselling sessions.

If need be, parents should be invited to attend the sessions and be invited to contribute.

Counsellors and parents should work out an effective programme to stop bullying in schools.

The Ministry of Education has a bully prevention policy to which schools must adhere.

Schools should have policies which provide students with a safe learning environment where the risk of harm is minimised and they feel physically and emotionally secure.

An educationist said – “Schools are places of learning that go far beyond the curriculum. They are arenas and playgrounds of social interaction. What is learnt there can stay with a child, tattooed into their psyche forever.

We owe it to them to do the best we can do to stop that lesson ever being inflicted.”

We should support the Ministry of Education’s zero tolerance on bullying.

Parents must play their role in telling their children that bullying has no place in the school.

They must make sure that there is no bullying at home too.

If it is not right at home then it is not right in schools.

Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj

 




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