By Ben Oroko:
Bullying in schools is a complex issue and cannot be prevented, unless all responsible parties take an active stance against the issue and proactively work together to promote equality as part of the efforts of preventing any unlawful discrimination within the school environment.
Bullying is not a new phenomenon in our schools, since it has been around since time immemorial
Teachers are the people with whom your child spends most of their childhood and learning period together with their peers and of course their parents.
Therefore, it is critical to take a look from a teacher’s perspective, before we judge their actions or inactions in the context of bullying within the school environment.
With so many potential and hotspot areas for bullying within the school environment, it is often very hard for teachers to be everywhere and see everything, since bullying incidents can take place while students are aboard a school bus, social halls, dining halls, playgrounds, dormitories
However, there is only one place where teachers have full control in terms of monitoring bullying incidents, that is the classroom and this does not necessarily imply that under such environment bullying cannot take place there.
It is equally important to emphasize that, teachers have a noble and moral duty to stop and prevent any form of bullying when they see it happening under their watch, failure to which, it will be taken as abetting crime within the school.
When it comes to responsibility in relation to bullying, teachers should also exercise their mandate in discussing new school policies and challenge ineffective ones, as well as initiating the discussion of bullying with their students and colleagues.
In this case teachers, can also be of great help and support to parents whose children are affected by bullying incidents while in school, by providing first-hand perspective, along with advice and guidance on how to address the incidents and stop them from recurring in future..
However, never before in the history of education system in our country have we ever witnessed such an alarming rate of bullying amongst children in schools.
Sadly, the rate keeps on increasing ,causing irreparable harm not only to the victims’ holistic development, but also their overall academic performance.
Bullying is unpleasant and hurting to the victims, but what has attracted attention among education experts and managers are the short and long-term effects on the learners who fall prey to the incidents of bullying.
This is what should be the bigger focus for schools, teachers and parents, considering, apart from the obvious physical traumas in cases when bullying was physically aggressive, victims of bullying in general experience a wide range of short-term mental effects, including lowered confidence, anxiety, fear and depression.
The sad story is that, most victims suffer in silence, but even so, they can’t hide the signs that something has been done to them to disturb their wellbeing.
In that respect, awareness of the signs of bullying makes it easier to discover it and help the child in dealing with the internalized emotions. END
The Writer is a Media and Communications practitioner based in Kisii-Kenya.
His contact: firstname.lastname@example.org