Join hands to beat bul­lies, ex­perts say

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHAO XINYING zhaoxiny­ing@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Teach­ers, par­ents and public se­cu­rity author­i­ties need to work closer to­gether to com­bat bul­ly­ing, ac­cord­ing to a se­nior ju­di­cial of­fi­cial.

The Supreme Peo­ple’s Procu­ra­torate, the top pros­e­cut­ing au­thor­ity, re­ceived about 1,900 cases re­lated to school bul­ly­ing in the first 11 months of this year, lead­ing to 1,100 ar­rests and 2,300 prose­cu­tions, ac­cord­ing to data re­leased on Wed­nes­day.

Yet com­plaints of cam­pus vi­o­lence re­main dif­fi­cult to de­tect and prove, said Shi Weizhong, deputy di­rec­tor of the au­thor­ity’s Ju­ve­nile Procu­ra­to­rial Af­fairs Of­fice.

He said the Chi­nese laws cov­er­ing ju­ve­niles, par­tic­u­larly those un­der 14 years old, are too gen­eral to pro­vide guid­ance on in­ter­ven­tion and rec­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“So in this re­gard, we can learn from other coun­tries in han­dling such cases, such as send­ing young peo­ple in­volved (in bul­ly­ing) to spe­cial­ized schools or or­ga­ni­za­tions to re­ceive ed­u­ca­tion and psy­cho­log­i­cal con­sult­ing, and en­gage them in so­cial ser­vices,” he said.

Shi sug­gested set­ting up more of­fices and in­sti­tutes aimed at ed­u­cat­ing young peo­ple about bul­ly­ing, while schools should pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion in the class­room as well as tighten se­cu­rity and work more with par­ents to avoid stu­dent con­flicts from es­ca­lat­ing.

His re­marks come weeks af­ter an on­line post by a Bei­jing mother about her son’s treat­ment at the hands of bul­lies put a spot­light on the is­sue. She said the boy, who is in fourth grade, had de­vel­oped acute stress dis­or­der af­ter be­ing mocked by class­mates and at­tacked with a waste bin.

Zhang Zhi­jie, di­rec­tor of the Ju­ve­nile Procu­ra­to­rial Af­fairs Of­fice, said the top pros­e­cut­ing au­thor­ity has been crack­ing down on bul­ly­ing and cam­pus vi­o­lence.

“Young peo­ple in­volved in such cases for the first time and whose be­hav­ior had only a slight ad­verse af­fect are treated with mercy to al­low them to get on track,” he said. “But those who have com­mit­ted crimes time and again which had se­vere con­se­quences are pun­ished with­out le­niency.”

The Supreme Peo­ple’s Procu­ra­torate has set up more than 2,000 ed­u­ca­tion cen­ters to work with schools in ed­u­cat­ing stu­dents on the law, and ap­pointed 7,300 procu­ra­tors as vice-prin­ci­pals at mid­dle and pri­mary schools na­tion­wide to raise le­gal aware­ness, Zhang said.

Ac­cord­ing to the data re­leased on Wed­nes­day, the vast ma­jor­ity of com­plaints filed with the au­thor­ity about school bul­ly­ing in­volved male of­fend­ers, al­though Shi said the pro­por­tion of fe­male of­fend­ers is rising.

There was also a no­table in­crease in mid­dle school stu­dents aged be­tween 14 and 18, he added.

REUTERS

XIE CHEN / FOR CHINA DAILY

Stu­dents hold plac­ards that read “Say ‘No’ to cam­pus vi­o­lence” on Dec 21 at Yuy­ing Mid­dle School in He­fei, An­hui prov­ince.

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