My letter to The New Paper on the above subject is published today, Monday 26th January 2015.
It is shocking to read of how a 15-year-old schoolgirl was burnt with a cigarette, punched, slapped and had urine poured over her face in a humiliating and demeaning manner as reported in “ Burned with cigarette , splashed with urine”(The New Paper, Jan 21).
Bullying can cause children to fear going to school. Some school bullies are troubled children who are seeking attention. They mistakenly believe that bullying is a way to become popular or to get what they want.
Undoubtedly, the student who was subjected these bullying tactics will have to grapple with psychological trauma for some time.
A quick-fix solution will be for the Ministry of Education to identify the bullies, counsel, and where feasible, punish those responsible for carrying out such uncivilised behaviour.
But it is better for the authorities to probe deeper into this incident as the bullies could be coming from families where there is little supervision at home, as both parents could be working or who could have issues of their own.
We need to put a stop to such bullies and in the case of school bullies, a long-term approach is needed. Otherwise, when the academic performance of the victims is affected, they will drop out of school and this will further add to existing social problems.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO