Standing up to bullies

The latest bullying incident at Shuqun Secondary School, which was captured on video and posted onto the internet, generated many opinions from the online community.

A few called for police to take firm action to teach the bully a lesson. Some felt the school had not responded effectively to the victim’s complaints over five months of bullying, others felt MOE should be more pro-active in empowering schools as far as dealing with bad behaviour is concerned. Unlike in the past, public caning is strongly frowned upon. This limited schools’ ability to take decisive action against recalcitrant pupils except to provide “counselling” and a “stern” warning to the bully.

There are yet others who support the call for victims to stand up to bullies and fight back. This group believes that if you stand up to the bully, the bully will back off and leave you alone.

How does one stand up to bullying? Are our children taught to stand up to bullies? Is our society accepting of those who refuse to be cowered?

Given that our law has zero tolerance for violence even if it is in self defeince or retaliation, how do victims effectively stand up to aggressive bullies?

It is not just our children getting bullied. There have been numerous cases of Singaporean taxi drivers being bullied and beaten by passengers. There was a case of an adult intern who was belittled and hit for years by his boss. What about our elderly being yelled at, pushed around and intimidated on buses and in public places?

If the video had not gone viral on the internet, would the bully still be bullying?

Is it time Singaporeans learn to stand up for ourselves instead of waiting for others to stand up for us?

This was reproduced with permission from editors of TR Emeritus.


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