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A tragic end to an education that had barely begun 13-year-old Kiki
stopped schooling because her classmates used to make fun of her relentlessly.
They had accidentally discovered her humble background, her father being a
street vendor. In another case, 15 year old Dinda could not take it anymore. She
became depressed, left school and stayed at home because she was constantly
teased by her classmates for failing in junior high school.
And in yet another, more recent case, some senior students of a junior
high school took seven junior students, and subjected them to violent beatings.
Sherry, one of the junior students, was rushed to hospital with bruises on his
abdomen. He is extremely scared to go to school. Julie, a 10 year old, fifth grade
student, states that her first two years of elementary school were a traumatic
experience. She sadly remembers being cruelly bullied by her male classmates because she was overweight. They used to call her Sumatran elephant, baboon,
gentong and many other names.
These are few cases out of hundreds of similar cases and the number is
increasing over the time. In Indonesia bullying exists in every form, from teasing to
extreme abuse. Even though incidents of bullying are common, unfortunately it is
not seen as a major problem. A recent survey conducted by National Child
Protection Commission has shown that more than half of bullying incidents go
unreported due to the fact that it is considered normal in some parts of the
society. Also the people who get bullied are either unwilling to report it because
they feel it will “make a big deal”. Or worse, they are so scared that they don't trust
anyone and do not want to share their plight with anyone.
The issue of bullying has been
a problem for years but recently it got limelight from news media when few cases
Bullying affects the children both psychologically and physically. It is
estimated that hundreds of children miss school every day due to the fear of being
mistreated by other students and in some extreme cases they choose to home
school, or in severe circumstances they stop studying altogether.
Children should not be living in constant fear. They shouldn't be afraid. On
the contrary, they should look forward to every day of school and enjoy school life.
According to a research bullying has always existed in Indonesian society, but it
has come to surface due to the recent proliferation of media technologies (Craig,
2009). Since bullying is prevalent in our society it is important that everyone
should be made aware of this social evil. There should be campaigns to increase
awareness. Everyone should be working together, against it, to stop it. It is
distressing to see our children being isolated from society because they are
treated badly. I am of opinion that no one has any right to harass or make people
feel inferior. No one should have that kind of power. These children are our future
and we should make every possible effort to stop bullying.
I would like to point out that bullying is everyone's problem and
responsibility. If you condone bullying in any way, shape or form it means you are
taking part in it whether it is directly or indirectly by being silent. Majority of
people agree that we have to work together towards eliminating this problem.
Some people may consider taunting someone as funny, even though it is
anything but funny to the person who is at the receiving end. Minor taunts can
create a lot of pain and suffering. While it may seem innocent but the cumulative
effect could be highly damaging. In addition to that, as the pain increases, each instance cuts a little deeper which eventually becomes a sore.
It is highly possible that bullying might happen in your school so it is the
liability of every student to protect their classmates and try to stop bullying. If it
doesn't work then you should inform your teachers or parents.
Not many of us think of stopping it. As long as it doesn't happen to us why
should we get involved, why should we bother? But the time has come for us to be
actively involved in eradicating bullying (Farrington, 1993).
So next time if you see someone getting bullied, would you try to stop it or
let it happen? Remember, bullying is everyone's problem; therefore everyone has
to be the part of the solution.