January 6 2014, Monday
The principal of a primary school
received a 4-page long letter from the mother of a primary 2 student. She detailed
how her daughter, let’s call her Ada, was suffering from severe headaches and
had been extremely unhappy since the beginning of the school year. The
situation deteriorated to the state that Ada was not able to sleep! The mother
panicked and took her to see the doctor. Only then did Ada pour out what had
been happening in school in the past few months. The mother was crying out for
Cecilia was the monitress of Ada’s
class. The two girls were high-achievers and were friends in primary 1. Last
year, Ada was the monitress and this year, the post went to Cecilia. The class
teacher wanted to give both girls the chance to assume leadership role.
Cecilia took her duty seriously paying
particular attention to Ada, demeritting her for every minor wrongdoing. The
class teacher was aware and had been coaching her to moderate her bossy behavior.
But Cecilia became more focused in her vengeance on Ada to punish her for “reporting”
to the teacher and for scoring the highest grades in all tests.
Cecilia designed a plan – wooing
Ada’s friends away from her and making up nasty tales about her. On top of that,
she started building a “gang” of her own to spy on Ada and the class teacher.
And one of these “pawns” was even assigned the “undercover” mission to act as
Ada’s friend. Ada was at a loss!
Isn’t this a horror story? School
bullying is taking place among such young children! Aren’t they supposed to be
sweet and angelic? Where have they got all these evil almost criminal ideas of
undercover, boycot and “big sister” mentality? What have these 7-year olds been
exposed to that they act like Lucifer? And of course, the big question – who
should be responsible for having created or creating little monsters like
Campus bullying comes in many
forms. It does not have to be physical but rather more often the subtle methods
of isolation and intimation whether in real life or in cyber space are adopted.
Not too long ago, a school girl
died from a fall on campus in the early morning of a school day! We were all
shocked but we would soon forget.
Let’s NOT forget. Let’s snip bullying at its first buds! We as teachers have this responsibility!