How to Stop BullyingFebruary 16, 2015

It seems like an age-old issue. The solutions are easier said than done. At the end of the day, you might wonder if there's an end to bullying. The answer is no.

Some are more equal than the others. Adults see the truth behind that statement in politics, and the school yard is no exception. There are school children who can't help themselves making the life of their fellow student miserable. It happens again and again. They can't be blamed, as they only learn such things at home. And school authorities can't do anything. How about the telly? It seems like a long shot, unless watching becomes frequent and unsupervised. If you're a teacher, then you're aware that imposing draconian measures would be effective in the short term. This brings us back to the same question.

The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence, which is held on March 8, tries to send a strong message. Bullying is not cool. It shouldn't be tolerated at all. Unless we can do something to rectify human behavior, then there'll be cases (of bullying) now and then. Expect fear in most instances. (We can't keep an eye on the students, all the time.)

But there's a way to deal with it, which only needs commitment. Here are some suggestions:

Reading out loud. We need to be enlightened, but tell this to the students. Don't be surprised if you see blank faces. Perhaps we need to be more enthusiastic, if not passionate, about what we do. Teaching the classics can be challenging, and it's even daunting if you want one, at least one, who can appreciate the authors of yesteryears. What they have written not only makes sense, but they also describe characters whom students can learn from. They may emulate them too. Don't dismiss it, as books have a positive effect.

Let's play together. Physical education is part of the curriculum. For most students, being active and spending time outdoors couldn't be better. But sports can teach them the value of teamwork. They'll learn to appreciate each other's strengths and weaknesses. And this is not the spirit of camaraderie. Yet. If it's an individual sport, then think about fortitude and other virtues that can build up one's character. Always encourage them. In no time, you'll see bright, confident boys (and girls). It would be hard not to notice them.

Talk to them. The solution to most problems is conversation, genuine and open. The young ones always look for assurance, and you must be there for them. There are times when talking can make them feel better. Adults should know this better. (What is social media for?) Make sure you'll be there. Always.

If you have other suggestion(s), come forward and let us know. The more ideas, the lesser cases of bullying.

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