Sunday, July 02, 2006

School Bullies

A 14 year old girl from St. Joseph Secondary School,Miri was assaulted by a few girls from another school over a remark about the boyfriend of one of the girls. The victim was punched, kicked, slapped and pushed around. Someone had time to capture this scene and post it on the internet but didn't have the heart or mind to stop this foul deed. It has now become a police case.

We seem to be hearing more of such cases in recent years and they are getting more and more violent. There was the case of a school boy who died after being assaulted by several of his schoolmates. What is the reason for these assaults. Why so violent? It is not about drugs or taking someone's lunch money. Something is wrong with our school system but the top management does not want to admit it. One of the reasons is the poor management of the school personnel by the top management.

We had bullies in our time but the problem was not so serious because it was attended to immediately. Action was taken against the guilty party but most importantly, the person who was assigned to this task was always there and did their job promptly without fear or favour. The present school system with its shady method of promoting its staff based on racial quota leaves much to be desired. No wonder the teachers look the other way when there is trouble between the school children. There is no motivation from the top. I must admit there are teachers who care but solely because of their own principles, but these are few and far in between.

The other reason could be the parents themselves. Nowadays you hear of parents marching into the school to see the Principal or the teacher concerned for punishing their child and threatening to take them to court. In one case in Penang the mother came with a pair of scissors and attacked the teacher who had disciplined her daughter. Parents also have to take part of the blame for this decay. The children's upbringing would play a very important part in the way they handle themselves socially. If they learn hatred for others in the house, that's what they bring with them to the school.

In some schools the teachers are the culprits for segregating the students with regards to race and religion. The government is always talking about intergration but this is only lip service during election and for the foreign media. The selection of students to represent the school for a competition or for receiving awards or for getting scholarships tells a different story. All these factors could also contribute to the tense nature of these students who then take it out on some of their own schoolmates who might not be part of a gang.

When I was in Standard 2, we did have a bully from Standard 3 going around giving us a hard time. One day I gathered all my classmates(about 35 I think) and chased him around the school. He was smart enough to hide from us that day. He never disturbed us after that. Sometimes we have to learn to protect ourselves.


estee said...

"Spare the rod & spoil the child" - that is a fact but many parents have forgotten about this. Parents over indulge their children nowadays exp. those with only 1 or 2 kids & everyone is talking about 'quality time' & trying to be the most popular parent 'cos they spend so little time with their kids.
School heads & teachers should be given back the power to punish children for indiscipline. If disciplinary measures are meted out properly, within reason & with the ultimate goal to teach, parents should be grateful instead of being angry.
Gangsterism & violence in school begets gangsterism & violence in society later. We've got to nip this in the bud.

David BC Tan said...

Or is it the other way round: Gangsterism & violence in society and (lack of seriousness in law enforcement) beget gangsterism & violence in school.

Siva said...

You are bringing up the chicken and egg question. I feel the gangsters must have had an early begining somewhere hence the theory about gangsterism in school being the source seems more valid.

Anonymous said...

I agree on the article that sire post for i am a student involving in these gang. Just then i felt guilty when i have to complete an assingment on this issues.

Alice tan said...

Dear sire,
I am recently doing some research on this gangsterism issues. For me, your article had lend me a helping hand. Thanks a lot. I wanted to add that sometimes students get involve in gang is beacuse they seek for protection when some of them are bullied by the others students.