Bullying is unacceptable

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 April, 2010, 12:00am

School violence is a growing problem in Hong Kong. Recently, a boy was severely beaten up by his classmates, and some of the onlookers were laughing. It is intolerable for someone to derive pleasure from others' pain.

Bullying can mean physical assault or mental intimidation, such as calling people names or teasing them. Influenced by comic books, computer games and movies, some teenagers might see bullying as a heroic act.

Education is the key to solving the problem. The government needs to give instructions to teachers, students and parents on ways to deal with it. It should also raise public awareness about the issue. Students won't benefit if schools try to cover up bullying cases to protect their reputation. Instead, schools should adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards bullying.

I am fortunate that I have never come across any bullying in my school. My school is a peaceful place, where teachers and students get along very well. I hope every student can study in a similar environment.

Lam Ho-pak, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Ho-pak. There have been some terrible instances of violent crime by students, both in Hong Kong and overseas, recently. Many of them involved bullying in some way.

There have even been instances of teachers bullying students.

It would be easy to say that bullying stops after school, but we all know it does not. The internet has given it another dimension entirely.

You are right when you say schools need to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to the problem. But what will that mean? Under the new curriculum, it is not easy for schools to expel problem pupils.

The solution lies with students adopting a zero-tolerance approach. Ignoring bullying means you are allowing it to happen in your school. Once everyone starts reporting it, the schools will be forced to act. As Young Post readers, I hope you will all take a stand against bullying and make your own schools safe.

Susan, Editor