Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bullying A Vile in Society



WHY DO PEOPLE BULLY?
TO PRETEND THEY ARE TOUGH
TO HIDE THEIR INSECURITIES/FEARS
THEY BULLY OTHERS WHO BULLIED THEM
THEY ARE UNHAPPY
TO TRY TO GET OTHERS TO LIKE THEM
THEY DO NOT LIKE WHO THEY ARE
OR
ARE THERE OTHER REASONS?


Rohan Sampat, a student in an Indian school in Dubai, has set a world record of sorts by scoring 99.5% marks in the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations. As per teachers and his parents, Rohan has a balanced attitude, giving equal emphasis to studies and extracurricular activities. Although marks are not a yardstick for success in life, they provide a perspective to evaluate the learning mechanism in school. Intelligence may be overpowered by over confidence, callousness, arrogance or lack of effort, but excellence is always a loyal companion of dedicated effort, passion, hard work and perseverance. More than anything else, Rohan's self-endeavor is the magic ingredient behind his amazing success so early in life. Rohan aptly gives credit to his teachers and parents for his accomplishment. Parents, educators and learning centre share credit for the strides made by students- they are also equally responsible for the shortcomings that plague the students. 

Most Dubai schools are well equipped with the latest infrastructures and conscientious educators to support them. All schools in the emirate are inspected, certified and ranked for their capability and competence by government bodies like KHDA (Knowledge and Human Development Authority) or ADEC (Abu Dhabi Education Council). Ideally one would assume that schools in the emirate offer a pleasant and secure atmosphere for students to learn and flourish. In most cases that is true. 

It would be naive to assume that all schools here are a paradise immune to the various evils like bullying or corporal punishment. On April 19, 2012, an energetic and cheerful 11-year-old Loujain Hussain, was brutally battered by a group of boys younger than her in her school campus. The incident that took place inside an Abu Dhabi school stunned the public across communities. The image of 4th graders becoming violent attackers, sending off an older kid to coma with a brain hemorrhage, just did not fit anyone's perception of a child. The girl was admitted to a hospital subsequently, and regained consciousness after battling with life and death for several days. Loujain Hussain still suffers from bouts of violent shivering. She has very hazy memory of the incident and is unable to see or walk properly. Leave along Loujain, her parents cannot bring themselves to think of sending her back to the same school once she recovers. If Loujain recovers from her physical suffering, she still has another war to fight. The battle against the mental scars will probably be a longer and more arduous one. 

The boys involved in the incident are kept under close scrutiny. Although they attend school, they are kept in their class during recess. The principal says that until an investigation by the authorities has been completed, they cannot be suspended. What is more disturbing is that this is not an isolated incidence. There has been more such news in the recent times. The question plaguing every one's mind is what turned these young kids into savages? Obviously their transformation into anti-social elements has not come overnight. There is no drought of reason behind the aggressive tendencies displayed by the bullies: 



*Lack of proper parental guidance at home *Nuclear family set up with working parents, and kids raised mostly by maids *Indulgence in violent video games and exposure to violence through other medium *Exposure to aggressive behavior at home *Lack of proper counseling and discipline at school *Lack of proper surveillance at school to intervene and stop such incidences from escalating *Lack of a proper mechanism to deal with bullying. 

(The list is illustrative and not exhaustive) 

Bullying has become a real menace in our society. Educating the children about the negative impacts of bullying has become absolutely pertinent. Probably a bullying drill like a fire drill may put a stop to numerous such incidences from escalating. It has been found that intervention by bystanders is one of the most successful methods to stop bullying. Counseling children with aggressive tendencies and incorporating a "violence prevention curriculum at school" can also act as a preventive measure. An integrated effort by parents and educators to imbibe the right values will certainly ensure a better future for our children. 

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