How to implement the advocacy against bullying?
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)