How to im­ple­ment the ad­vo­cacy against bul­ly­ing?

Panay News - - BUSINESS - By Ed­uardo B. Al­ba­son, Head Teacher I Punta Co­gon El­e­men­tary School, Roxas City

OVER Christ­mas our tele­vi­sions were flooded and the is­sue is tak­ing rounds on so­cial me­dia al­most ev­ery­day about the Ate­neo stu­dent at­tack­ing his school­mate in their school’s com­fort room. How ironic that a stu­dent, whose sup­posed to be schooled, shel­tered and softer than adults are strong-willed to ran­domly get even at his fel­low stu­dent.

How ironic that a com­fort room as it is turned to be a place where un­ex­pect­edly you get bruises and hits. How ironic that taek­wando as a sport and is sup­posed to foster ca­ma­raderie, sol­i­dar­ity, dis­ci­pline and self-de­fense is used to harm oth­ers who are de­fense­less. How ironic that a pre­miere school like Ate­neo had such in­ci­dent like bul­ly­ing never chooses a place, a per­son or a time to at­tack when it does.

With such in­ci­dent as an ex­am­ple of how bul­ly­ing may en­dan­ger our chil­dren’s se­cu­rity, and the many cases of bul­ly­ing in­ci­dent in the re­cent decade, ad­vo­ca­cies against bul­ly­ing, like sui­cide cases, have been pro­found.

But how can we im­ple­ment these ad­vo­ca­cies against bul­ly­ing to fully ma­te­ri­al­ize and will not re­main as a vi­sion? For me, here is how we can im­ple­ment it: (1) Stu­dents who bully do not only at­tack one stu­dent or some­one he can. On many oc­ca­sions, a bully stu­dent at­tacks sev­eral other stu­dents or per­sons. Those he at­tacked though just keep mum about the sit­u­a­tion in fear that the bully will not stop such at­tack or would give them more se­ri­ous at­tack or they would harm their par­ents or loved ones.

This only tells us to be vig­i­lant and to con­duct as much as pos­si­ble some sort of psy­cho­log­i­cal con­sul­ta­tion with our stu­dents, just like what is done dur­ing work eval­u­a­tion or pre-de­par­ture eval­u­a­tion for over­seas em­ploy­ment be­cause we wouldn’t know if our stu­dents have prob­lems at home that they of course can­not speak to any­one from home but may be able to in school when given the chance. This can be done by ei­ther the guid­ance coun­selor, or the home­room ad­viser.

Like­wise, par­ents should reg­u­larly talk to their kids spe­cific to pos­si­ble bul­ly­ing in­ci­dent at school whether or not it in­volves them or their class­mate, school­mate, or some­one they know.

In this case, we only not help our child main­tain a non-bul­ly­ing or healthy en­vi­ron­ment, to­gether we heal the emo­tional ills of our com­mu­nity; and (2) reg­u­lar con­sul­ta­tion is a must be­tween par­ents and chil­dren, and not just be­tween stu­dents and teach­ers or guid­ance coun­selors. With­out con­sul­ta­tions, stu­dents do not know where and how to ex­ert all the rag­ing hor­mones.

Bul­ly­ing does not only mean that the bul­lied are the pow­er­less and the seem­ingly in­signif­i­cant per­sons in school. Bul­ly­ing hap­pens be­cause stu­dents are just be­com­ing too ag­gres­sive they need to have an out­let. Just bother them with small stuff, or even just a glance, would some­times mean dif­fer­ent to them, or would get such ac­tion down to their nerve. This must be ad­dressed both at school and at home. Guid­ance coun­selor, or teacher, or even par­ents would only re­act when the prob­lem arise, but as we see bul­ly­ing num­ber grow­ing in this decade, we should con­front the is­sue head on, or we are sorry.

Bul­ly­ing can re­sult to a lot more dan­ger­ous episodes such as tor­ture, trauma, ex­tor­tion, ha­rass­ment, and even sex­ual as­sault that will have griev­ous im­pact in their lives for long time. We must not wait for it to hap­pen. Now is the time to act. We can­not just ex­pel or kick out a mi­nor when we can ac­tu­ally avoid the in­ci­dent.

As teach­ers, let us col­lec­tively ad­vo­cate to stop bul­ly­ing. Let’s join par­ents en­trust­ing us with their chil­dren to be­come good cit­i­zens and fu­ture lead­ers. Let us en­cour­age the par­ents to take part too in this ad­vo­cacy let­ting them un­der­stand that rais­ing chil­dren to be morally up­right and car­ing to­wards oth­ers do not solely rest in school but should start at home. ( Paid ar­ti­cle)

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