By Chris Onuoha
CHILDREN will return to school with friendly minds, but some will not and the reason is simple: they are being bullied. Bullying is highly dangerous behaviour and could make a child dread waking up for school. Thus, whether your child is going to be bullied or will be bullying other children, it must not be encouraged in any manner.
Mrs. Ugbechie Efenam is the Vice Principal (Admin), Command Day Secondary School, Ikeja Cantonment, Lagos. Her views were simple: “Bullying exists in some schools but it depends because we don’t have such in my school. If such cases are reported here, immediately, the child in question will be called to order.
Parents will be invited and if discovered that the child is involved depending on the gravity of the offence, the child will be expelled or be suspended. It is a serious case in my school and as new students are coming in, they are given the prospectus so that they will acquaint themselves with school rules and regulations. It is better they are aware and stay on the side caution. Sometimes during the morning assembly, children are given pep talks and counseling.
At home, children should be taught to relate well with each other and when one errs, the other will tell the mum to caution him or her. That’s how we also teach them in school. We make them see school as the second home. The teachers are there not only to act as their guardian but as parents. For a teacher, if any child offends, the teacher should not take laws into his or her hand, such case must be reported to school management. Fighting is one offence we abhor here. We don’t tolerate it. We take stringent measures to either correct an ameliorable child or expel the recalcitrant one. These are some of the measures we take to curtail bullying here.
For a child whose privacy has been infringed psychologically, we have counselors in the school who guide them because when children are bullied, they will be afraid of coming back to school. We do invite parents of the bullying child for official discussions. When the child returns to the school maybe after suspension, he is also sent for counseling but if such behavior continues, that child will be expelled completely from the school.