“Hey, where did you get your glasses from? Your granny? So outdated”
“Tu ladki hai kya? Yeh kya art aur craft laga rakha hai?”
Experienced this? In person or through your family or friends?
Bullying can take so many forms it is not possible to exactly lay our fingers on what it is. While we as a school try our best to nip the problems of bullying at the bud, an email by a parent left us flabbergasted.
The child, hardly 8-10 year old was made fun of by his seniors for being interested in art. Now, when we took it up, we found so many gray areas. Amongst many things a deep-rooted psyche that said, there are clear and clean definitions of what a male and a female can and should do was the most evident.
The so-called bullies were not evil children. The fact that their comments hurt the other child was also beyond comprehension to them. Having an open dialogue has helped them nudge from the paradigm they have inherited but it will be a long way before they make the shift.
In the meantime, we are more vigilant. Vigilant to ensure this does not reach massive proportions where we require thugs to safeguard our children in schools. Yes, as per The Telegraph, UK, in S Korea parents are hiring thugs, literal bouncers or bodyguards in our language, to ensure their teenage child is not troubled in schools as per this news article. Now, this was clearly shocking because this is definitely not how we envisage schools.
However on further reading, I realised one of the causes that could be leading to such extreme measures being taken by parents. In a different news article, it said parents in S Korea were protesting against a bill that stopped them from physically punishing their children. In other words, the parents wanted the “right to discipline their children through physical punishment”. So much so that there were parents who went on air to claim “I’m going to continue beating my kids even if it requires writing a contract with them.”
Now, I am not sure if this is a true depiction of the country or not but if it is, then it sure explains the high levels of bullying in schools. Bullying, like most other problems of growing up, is pretty complex and a huge a part of it comes from how we raise our children at home. Children who are raised with extreme stereotypes or autocratic manner have a far higher chance of turning in to bullies.
So, do you believe we can overcome the menace of bullying? If yes how? If not, why?
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