Editorial: Let's end bullying

Editorial: Let's end bullying

IN a public Facebook post, the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) said it will be looking into an incident involving two AdDU Junior High School.

A video recording of the incident went viral on social media and online chat groups last week. The video shows a student choking another student from behind.

"School authorities have met with these students and their parents, and an investigation is ongoing," the school said in a statement on January 27, 2023.

It added that "appropriate interventions are being implemented based on the Ateneo de Davao Junior High School Student Discipline Code, the DepEd Child Protection Policy, and the Data Privacy Act of 2012."

"We ask everyone to respect the privacy of the students and their families and to avoid engaging in misinformation. Rest assured that the [AdDU] Junior High School maintains a safe learning climate for our students. Misbehavior will not be tolerated. If warranted, disciplinary sanctions will be imposed after due process," the school said.

This is not the first alleged bullying case in the school. A recent suicide of a junior high school student in the same school was also linked to bullying. However, that has not been officially confirmed.

However, we cannot fully put the blame on the school.

In AdDU's statement, a commenter gave an important reminder to parents.

"Easy to say sa uban na e blame ang school and questioning if worthy pa ba sa trust why not ask ourselves Kung na upbring ba nato atoang mga anak properly? Basin nakalimot ta na mas Naa Tay dako na roles sa attitude og values sa atoang mga anak? Why not ask og Asa ta nagkulang instead of pointing tanang blame sa school kay gusto lang nato isisi ang atoang pagkukulang [sic] (It is easy to blame the school and question if it is still worthy to trust them. How about we ask ourselves about how we raised our kids? We might have forgotten that we have a big role to play in the attitude and values of our children. Maybe, we should be asking where we lacked instead of putting the blame on the school for our shortcomings)," the commenter said.

She added, "Maskin asa pana pa eskwelahun ng mga bataa og ang foundation nila is lacking it will end up the same [sic] (No matter what school the student will be enrolled in if their [values] foundation is lacking, it will still be the same)."

It has been said many times that bullying is a complex issue. And the reason why one bullies another can have complicated roots.

According to the Megan Meier Foundation, "Bullying behavior can arise from distrust, fear, and misunderstanding."

It added that "a person is more likely to engage in such destructive behaviors" for dislike for another person, seeking revenge on another person or retaliation, seeking popularity, seeking power and control, prejudice, peer pressure, and for pleasure or “for fun.”

Children may have picked this up from those who are older than them or seen it happen at their homes. Sadly for some, no one is there to tell them that bullying is bad. Hence, some kids will think it is okay to bully others. By the time an intervention is implemented, it could be too late to save both the victim and the bully.

So what can we do? As the commenter in the AdDU statement has said, we have to look into how we bring up our kids and the environment they are growing up in. However, that is easier said than done. Not all homes are the same. Hence, it can be a challenge for some to raise their kids.

But this is also where the schools come in. It might be time for it to strengthen its values formation among its students.

The community also plays a key role in this. Adults can do their part in ending bullying -- reprimanding the bullies, protecting the victim, being the listener to the victim, and setting a good example.

It takes a village to raise a child, they say. And if we want to stop bullying in schools, we have to raise our children properly and with the right values.


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