Criminalise school bullying

14 October 2020 | Opinion

“Bullying is a vital part of every ecosystem. It teaches kids resilience. The world is a rough place. Bullying is like getting inoculated. It's a vaccine.” The quote above is from Frank Gallagher, a character in American comedy-drama television series 'Shameless'. It's comedy and must thus not be taken seriously. The horrific fatal stabbing yesterday at Rehoboth of a 15-year-old boy by a 14-year-old, whom he had allegedly been bullying for a long time, is a sad consequence, on the flipside, of such behaviour. Children endure pain every day at the hands of bullies. When the sun rises every morning, it serves as a scary reminder to the victims that another round of torment awaits them at school. Sadly, neither the schools nor government does anything to end these perpetual violent acts and make the school environment a true temple of learning. By their very nature, no human being is capable at excelling at anything productive while carrying the burden of fear and victimisation in the back of their minds. The system is such that even parents of bullied children have little recourse in law if they dare act in defence of their victimised little ones. It would seem that authorities are waiting for the multiplicity of fatalities and intensity of full-blown street gang wars before decisively acting on bullying. When blood is flooding the streets because of our reactive approach, bullying would have already morphed into serious gang activities, led by graduates of violence.

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