Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On bullying

Security guards suspiciously eye everyone passing metal detection door while police officers nervously patrolling the hallway with their hands pressing on their side arms ready for instant use. This is not a scene sighted at a maximum security correction facility or any international airport taking measures to prevent terrorists from boarding a flight but a possible picture that might be taken at the main entrance of a local junior high school of Taiwan in the future.

As reported by local media the other day, over sixty teachers of a junior high school in Taoyuan jointly signed a petition to the education authority to have their principal relieved because of her inability and unwillingness to tackle the problem of bullying on campus. Teachers told the reporter that the principal’s appeasement towards bullying only made things worse. The victims were not confined to the bullied students but members of the faculty. A few bullies even made threatening claim that they would bring guns to school to deal with anyone who got into their way. Oh my god, what should we do? Issue weapons to teachers for their own protection or train teachers how to shoot?

The problem would not end after the principal was suspended pending for further investigation for any negligence of her duties. After the revealing of this news, bullying has been a hot topic for discussion. The Ministry of Education was asked to take immediate and proper actions to stop it from getting worse.

In the past few days, the local police of Taoyuan have doubled their patrol around the campuses of junior high schools. However, we all know that limited local law enforcement resources can’t afford to carry on these extra assignments forever. Eventually what happens within the campus should therefore be dealt with by teachers, administrators, and parents. Both MOE and schools have to act fast and effectively because students are in urgent need for a safer campus for learning.

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