Bullying in Singapore school: A video of three boys fighting in a classroom at St Hilda's Secondary School has gone viral online...
A video of three boys fighting in a classroom at St Hilda’s Secondary School (on Sep 11) has gone viral online.
In the video, we see two boys entering a classroom to confront a third boy.
What follows next is shocking. The boys are seen kicking and punching each other, and hurling vulgarities. At one point, an adult is seen calmly observing the situation, with no real attempt to diffuse the fight.
Netizens were quick to presume that the adult was a teacher, and were enraged that he did not intervene and physically attempt to calm the boys down.
St. Hilda’s Secondary school responds
And now, St. Hilda’s Secondary school has clarified that the man in question was not a teacher.
According to Channel NewsAsia, Vice Principal Tan Yee Leng has clarified that the man was actually an intern with an external agency that the school had hired.
Ms Tan says in the statement, “The school is aware that there was a disciplinary issue on Sep 11 which involved two students fighting with another student.”
“An intern with an external agency chanced upon the incident when walking along the corridor, and had called out to the students to stop the fight but they did not heed him. Since he is not one of our teachers, he would not have the training or authority to manage the situation.”
The video has created much furore online, with many condemning the students’ behaviour and general lack of discipline.
Ms. Tan assures that, “The school has addressed the matter by counselling the students involved, and applying appropriate disciplinary measures. We are also working with their parents to help our students learn from the incident.”
“We take all incidents of fighting seriously, and we are confident that our teachers will be able to manage and correct inappropriate behaviour.”
Bullying in Singapore school
The incident also raises many questions – has bullying in Singapore become a major concern of late?
According to a recent report, Singapore has the third highest rate of bullying globally! How then can we make sure that our children are adequately bully-proofed? Here are some tips:
- Be compassionate and respectful towards your children: Refrain from using power or force to control your kids. Raise them in loving, respectful relationships instead.
If you spank or cane your child, they are more likely to use violence to solve their own problems. Research has shown that physically disciplining a child is associated with bullying behaviors.
- Talk and stay connected with your kids: Maintain a close, friendly relationship with your child. Kids are often ashamed that they’re being bullied, so they worry about telling their parents.
Talk to your kid daily about their day. If your relationship is close, your child will feel comfortable opening up to you about problems they are facing in school, including bullying.
- Encourage them to make friends: It is important to teach your child to develop social skills and make good friends.
Bullies rarely target children in groups. They tend to isolate loners.
- Instill confidence and self esteem: Bullies target children they perceive to be weak. It is important to build your child’s self-esteem from a young age with positive reinforcement.
At the same time, as a parent it is also necessary to walk the talk, and model confident behaviour. Remember, your child is learning from watching you.
- Look out for warning signs: If your child suddenly goes from being a happy and open child to being introverted or silent, talk to her and find out what is wrong.
If your child refuses to go to school, this is a clear indicator that something is wrong and further investigation needs to be done. Don’t be hesitant to discuss the issue with her teacher.
- Teach your children to stand up for themselves: Bullying usually starts with verbal abuse. Teach your child to stand up for themselves in these instances.
Kids should also know how to avoid bullies. They usually target victims where adults are not present. Therefore, if your kid is being bullied, they should avoid unsupervised areas in the school.
Teach your child that there is no shame is talking to an adult or asking for help.