HEALTH IS WEALTH
Recently, a bullying incident in a reputable school in Manila put a spotlight on the rights of children and the need to protect them from physical, verbal, and psychological intimidation.
The repercussion of this unbecoming incident finally awakened the legal minds as well as our senators and congressmen so much so that they recommended the lowering of the minimum age of criminal liability from 15 to 12. This finding was justified by juvenile authorities who reported that their records have shown that crimes committed now are much younger than 15 years – say 10-12 years old. Time magazine recently reported on the alarming phenomenon occurring in Japanese elementary and secondary schools. Presently, clinical psychologists have reported that bullying in schools is causing a lot of anguish on young school children and teenagers, in particular, those who are weak and cannot fight back.
In the Philippine setting, bullying among school children is solved primarily by meeting with the principal, concerned teachers, and parents of the bully and victim. Before, the abuses of the young victims are subjected to usually come in the form of verbal abuse, teasing, taunts, name-callings, mental abuse, and public shaming, among others. Most bullies would harass their weaker classmates just for fun. But now, it has become more physical. Filipino bullies attack their weaker “enemies” with punches and kicks. (Many kids have learned martial arts in sport centers as motivated by their male parents who feel insecure.) Probably, this could be the fundamental instinct of parents to protect their children in the hope to put an end to bullying in the classroom or anywhere in a hostile environment.
Remember, the school should be a place where learning is fun and school children feel safe and protected!