School bullying’s effects are serious – why shouldn’t cases be reported to the Education Bureau?
- Reporting incidents may result in discipline that deters bullying, but may also overburden teachers
I would like to respond to the letter “Counselling the best approach to school bullies” (November 28). Although the letter writer pointed out that stiff punishments may not deter bullies, I think schools should report bullying to the Education Bureau.
If schools don’t handle cases of bullying well, the bullied child may experience negative mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and loneliness, which may continue into adulthood. Moreover, he or she may be wary or suspicious of others and have increased risk of drug abuse.
One study found that English children who were bullied were 70 per cent more likely to experience depression or practice some form of self-harm than children who suffered child abuse.
How schools deal with bullying may vary and not have the expected deterrent effect. But reporting these cases to the Education Bureau will impress on would-be bullies that the consequences of their actions are serious.
Wing Hau, Sheung Shui
Education Bureau needs to set guidelines on bullying, not turn teachers into police
What is the purpose of schools reporting bullying cases to the Education Bureau? Does the bureau have enough manpower to look into each case of bullying? If not, or if there are no plans and polices in place on how to handle these reports, what is the point of schools reporting the cases? Is it simply so that these cases are filed away or to generate statistics?
I believe schools will handle bullying cases appropriately if they become aware of them, but it is not possible to require teachers to police schoolyards. The Education Bureau should establish some guidelines to help schools handle such cases instead of asking them to report them.
Therefore, no penalties should be applied to schools for not reporting bullying cases. It is enough for schools to follow the guidelines when handling these cases.
Joanna Tsang, Sheung Shui