NEWS

‘Bullying Is Never Acceptable’

“We need to come together, as a community – the family, schools, Faith Based Organisations, civil society and Government to take steps to denounce bullying and stop bullying behavior, sending a clear message, especially to children that bullying is not okay.
27 Apr 2019 10:00
‘Bullying Is Never Acceptable’

Bullying is an issue that has affected too many students for too long and too many have suffered as a result.

These were the words of Save the Children Fiji chief executive officer, Iris Low-McKenzie after learning of the incident claiming the life of a 16-year-old student in Nadi.

“It is indeed very sad to hear of the passing of this child.

More and more we hear of the incidences of bullying in schools and online, perpetuated by those that are supposed to care for our children,” she said.

“When adults model and justify violent behaviour, or if children are exposed to violence by other means, children think that violence is acceptable behaviour to solve problems.

“We need to assess the reasons and the background of the child, which we know the investigation process will determine.

Unfortunately, the child in this case did not consider the consequence of his actions that day, and this will live with him for the rest of his life and it has resulted in the loss of another child.

“This case can be used as a teachable moment to our children, talk to them about what happened here and the consequence of their actions. Reiterate that bullying is not acceptable and instead promote kindness, peace, acceptance and tolerance.

“We need to come together, as a community – the family, schools, Faith Based Organisations, civil society and Government to take steps to denounce bullying and stop bullying behavior, sending a clear message, especially to children that bullying is not okay.

Silence is no longer an acceptable response to bullying.

“Adults, students, and educators can no longer look away when they see bullying. Ignoring it won’t work.

Everyone needs to be empowered with options to respond,” said Ms Low-McKenzie.

“There’s a lot of help available and we need to encourage children and families to reach out like the Child Helpline – 1325.”

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