Thursday, May 11, 2017

The 30 Ringgit Gangsta’s Paradise

For as much as 30 Ringgit, you can buy protection from bullies in the school. However, failing to pay that amount to gangs that are spiraling in Malaysian schools, you could end up being the victim of the bullies.
Sad to say, this is what which is taking place in our national schools  today, as highlighted by child rights activist James Nayagam to Free Malaysia Today recently.
Bullying, is becoming a major problem, and I fear, only death is going to jolt the nation to action. We came very close to that recently, when in Nilai,   a 15-year-old male student  was forced to drink poison by his schoolmates.
Be it by individuals or gangs, we should stop our schools from being a bully’s paradise, before the problem gets out of hand.
Here’s what I have used successfully in my professional practice to combat bullying :
1) Include it in the curriculum.
Teach children how to identify the meaning of bullying, the language of bullying and positive methods to help bullies. Children who bully often need our help rather than punitive punishment.
2) Have a well-publicised method for students to report bullies.
We have posters and counsellors’ emails posted around the school so every student knows who to contact if they feel bullied. Bullies need to know that those bullied can seek help effectively and fast.
3) Have School-Wide events to highlight not just that bullying isn’t tolerated but that “standing up” is celebrated.
Our student council runs an annual “superhero” week where we talk about student heroes who stand up for one another and aren’t afraid to help other students who may be bullied in all its various forms from physical and emotional bullying to social exclusion.
4) Communicate a fair system for the consequences of bullying
Your community needs to know that bullying isn’t tolerated and that there are consequences. Bullies need to know that they have to not only suffer the consequences of their action but also repair the social damage caused by the bullying action. By learning to apologies and take action to resolve the damage caused to the social fabric of their community then understand the wider implications of their actions

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