NEWS

‘Bullying’ in the Spotlight Again

Queen Victoria School (QVS) is in the spotlight again after a Year Nine student stepped forward and related the trauma he went through after being allegedly bullied by senior students of
22 Mar 2018 10:50
‘Bullying’ in the  Spotlight Again

Queen Victoria School (QVS) is in the spotlight again after a Year Nine student stepped forward and related the trauma he went through after being allegedly bullied by senior students of the school.

The student, who was recently cleared from the school, said the trauma of being bullied caused him to change schools.

The mother of the victim wished to remain anonymous. She said that as much as they did not want to defame the school, all they wanted was for the alleged bullying in the school to be stopped for good.

“It is sad that we as parents have so much trust in schools that we send our children to and senior students who are to act as their older brothers bully the younger students,” said the mother of the student.

“We do not want to defame the school, the principal or the teachers. We understand their work, but it’s these senior students who really need to be taken to task.

“It was on the visiting Sunday that I went to see my son and noticed how much weight he lost and how weak he looked. Over our lunch together I asked him if he was sick and that is when he opened up.

“He complained of headaches, body pain and said that timber materials (4 x 2) fell on him.

“He explained that he was sleeping in the dormitory when a student lured him to the rec (recreation) room at the back of the dormitory where the piece of timber was and alleged that the senior students made it fall on him.”

The student said he could not fight back or say a word and decided to return to his bed and lay down.

He said he was not the only student but a number of Year Nine students were allegedly bullied into giving their school material and food.

He said he had been advised by Year 10 students to be strong and continue class and “not to worry about what was happening’’.

The student’s mother confirmed a complaint to the Police was not lodged. The family preferred “to get our son out and have him medically checked’’.

Principal Qalo Lesi confirmed that he had received a complaint from the parent and the school was investigating the matter.

Mr Lesi said the student had been cleared from the school this week after he requested to withdraw from the school.

“He said he was bullied. I am shocked about this, but we have asked students and they are hiding things,’’ he said.

Mr Lesi said he had been warning the students that if anyone was found bullying the school would take necessary action. He said they would talk to parents of these students and would remove the students if need be.

Mr Lesi, who is the new principal of the school appointed earlier this year, said they hoped to tackle and get rid of such aggressive behaviour.

The school has been in the spotlight over the years over such aggressive acts.

Last year,  a 28-year-old teacher from the school was charged with assaulting students at the boarding school.

The teacher was charged in relation to a second complaint filed by a Year 13 student’s parent and appeared with five students from QVS who were also charged with assault.

Questions sent to the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry for Education Alison Burchell this week remained unanswered when this article went to print.

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa

Feedback:  losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj

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