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Tackling the burning issue of school bullying

  • People are increasingly intolerant and oblivious to the rule of law spirit as they become more and more inclined to resort to violence at the slightest provocation.

Sin Chew Daily

A National Defence University (UPNM) student died of suspected bullying at the campus, highlighting the seriousness of campus bullying in this country.

The incident has sounded the alarm bell that the government, school authorities and parents must do everything they can to stop this unhealthy phenomenon from victimizing more innocent students.

Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain became a victim of campus bullying after he was accused by his classmates of stealing a laptop computer. He reportedly denied stealing, and was tormented for two days, including whipping by his friends with a waistbelt, rubber hose and clothes hanger. He also suffered 80% burn from a steam iron. He was declared dead after being rushed to the hospital for treatment. 36 suspects were subsequently detained by the police.

Unimaginably, well educated young people could do something so barbaric to their fellow student. Even if the allegation of stealing was real, there is no way these people should take the law in their own hands.

The case has since drawn the attention of the authorities. Defense minister Hishammuddin Hussein has instructed the university authorities to conduct a thorough investigation, insisting that those involved in the crime would not be spared from legal action.

It warrants our urgent attention to do everything we can to prevent such tragic incidents from taking place again in future.

Campus bullying has become increasingly serious of late. The victims have not only suffered tremendous physical and psychological trauma, they sometimes even lose their precious lives to the bullies.

It is imperative that the authorities review the safety guidelines for schools and implement proper measures to protect the personal safety of students.

The school is a place to learn, a place where knowledge and civic manners are disseminated. In no way should it be turned into a place where the weaker students fall victim to the ugly acts of bullying. School authorities have an inevasible obligation to ensure the safety of all students so that they can have a peaceful and hassle-free environment to pursue their studies.

We can see from the above case that even undergraduate students may find it tough to confront a bullying incident. The education ministry must reinforce its educational and counseling works while establishing an effective communication channel to provide timely assistance to the victims and prevent similar tragedies from recurring.

Notably, acts of bullying are not only rampant within the campus but also outside the campus. People are increasingly intolerant and oblivious to the rule of law spirit as they become more and more inclined to resort to violence at the slightest provocation.

It has therefore become our unassailable duty to seek the solution to soften the hearts of our younger generation through education and cultural influences in a bid to check the incidence of bullying at schools.

 

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