BULLYING is a significant problem prevalent in schools. It affects schoolchildren, impacting not only the victim and the bully but also bystanders who witness the violence.

Relying solely on a bullying prevention policy is insufficient.

As schoolchildren, we have encountered bullying in various forms, such as in football games, where experienced players often intimidate novices, and classmates repeatedly stigmatising others.

It is imperative to address and nip bullying in all its manifestations.

Bullying includes physical assaults and verbal insults. It occurs in the real world and online platforms, commonly referred to as cyberbullying.

Media reports have often highlighted instances where bullies gang up to extort money, food and personal belongings and others from weaker students.

It is crucial to note
that victims may adopt a bullying role as a coping mechanism.

Research indicates that many bullies originate from broken homes, where they lack parental guidance or both parents are working, leaving them feeling neglected.

Additionally, some may have endured challenging circumstances, including family break-ups, conflicts, drug and alcohol abuse and poverty.

Bullying can also occur in workplaces, online settings or even in instances of road rage on highways.

Bullying is difficult to eradicate due to the lasting trauma it inflicts on victims and society’s inclination to overlook the issue.

Teachers, parents and the police must play pivotal roles in curbing this social menace.

Failure to address it may lead bullies to engage in criminal activities as they mature, preying on the vulnerable to sustain their lifestyle.

Students, who are directly or indirectly involved in bullying, face an elevated risk of misbehaviour and absenteeism from school.

Bullying not only diminishes their academic performance but also contributes to mental health issues.

Victims may feel they are being constantly targeted by others through frequent threats, harassment, abuse, ill-treatment and victimisation.

To ensure safety, school authorities must cultivate a positive school climate, emphasising on social and emotional learning.

C. Sathasivam Sitheravellu

Seremban

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