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Remind students during assembly to report bullying
Published on: Wednesday, June 28, 2017

By TK
The case of Nhaveen who died after being in coma is the most horrific and gruesome case of bullying.

His friend T. Previin suffered injuries to his face and needs surgery to fix the damage to his eye.

Realistically, everyone gets bullied at some point in life, and it most likely will happen at school or the work place.

Some are even bullied at home by their siblings.

Based on my experience as a teacher and school administrator, I must admit that bullying is rampant in schools because it can come in many forms, including physical or emotional abuse. It may also include damaging a child’s property, spreading malicious rumours, forcing a child to do something he doesn’t want to do or calling him sissy or effeminate.

But when bullying becomes drastically physical, like Nhaveen’s and Previin’s case, it can take its toll on the victims.

If a student is consistently being bullied, all stakeholders (especially parent-teacher associations) together with the principal must take action to stop it at all cost.

Unfortunately, we often ignore the problem and just tell the student to ignore the bully.

But when a student is bullied, whether verbally or in cyberspace, they may feel distraught or deserted.

The student needs to know that reporting the bully to their teacher is the right thing to do. Of course, parents can become furious when they first learn that their child is being bullied.

Nevertheless, they should first determine if the child is in any immediate physical danger and then find a way to stop it.

The normal procedure is for the parents to lodge a report with the school authority.

The principal can then determine whether to get the help of the PTA or to bring the child’s class teacher or subject teachers in to resolve the issue.

Principals are trained to deal with issues like bullying so voice your concerns – and listen too.

Most schools have an action plan to deal with bullying incidents.

No doubt principals often have their hands full but they can delegate the case to counselling, discipline and class teachers.

In serious cases of bullying, they can refer them to the district education officer or the school police liaison officer to handle.

However, I must emphasise that the bullies should be given a chance to reform.

I do believe counselling could work for quarrelsome and overbearing individuals who intimidate and threaten the smaller and weaker students.

Apparently, most schools even have guidelines for quelling bullying. What needs to be done is for the school authorities to continuously remind their students in public gatherings like school assemblies that there is zero tolerance for any form of bullying in and outside schools.

TK

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