A violent bullying incident involving a fragile 10-year-old girl suffering from a rare condition, has shocked parents around the world. It’s the viciousness of the attack by one child on another, that leaves us wondering how kids can be this brutal.
Violent Bullying Incident: Little Girl Choked with Skipping Rope by “Friends”
Little Amber Yoon is just 10 years old, and tinier than most of her peers. She was born with a rare condition that has seen her in and out of hospitals throughout most of her life.
But on the 25th of August 2018, this little warrior thought she was going to die. She was targeted in a brutal playground attack by a so-called friend.
The bully got hold of Amber. Then, allegedly, she wrapped a skipping rope around Amber’s neck and hung her from a tree.
In an interview with Australia’s 9NEWS, Amber’s distraught mother Belinda Yoon said, “(The other student) grabbed Amber, put it (the skipping rope) over her neck and started wrapping and wrapping and Amber put her fingers like this and held it and was saying, ‘no, no, no’ until she couldn’t speak anymore.”
At one point in the interview, Belinda gets so upset that she stops talking and walks away to collect her thoughts. But she continues to recount what happened to her precious girl.
Perhaps the most heartbreaking reveal was when Amber told her mummy, “‘Mum all I could think of was, is if I’m dead how am I going to be able to be their friend?’”
The School Failed Her Daughter
This wasn’t the first time Amber was targeted by bullies. A heartbreaking diary entry (see image above) shows it was ongoing, and very distressing for the little girl.
Belinda explains how months ago she approached the school about bullying. But it looks like her concerns were not addressed at that point.
Speaking about the skipping rope incident, Belinda is worried that the violent bullying incident has “broken” her baby girl.
“A little girl who’s had more surgeries than we can count and been in the scariest situations. It’s unbelievable that another child committed such an act of violence against her and that’s how we could have lost her. It’s astounding to me. It just doesn’t make sense,” says Belinda.
The school in question – Catholic Education WA – mentioned it is unable to comment as now police are involved, and that it needs to “protect the privacy of the other student involved.”
Belinda, however, is firm in her belief that there was just one victim here: her daughter.
“I’ve got empathy for everyone involved, I really truly do, but there really is one victim here and that’s my little girl. I’m going to take a stand and I’m not going to be silenced on this.”
While Amber has been taken out of the school, her mum’s wish is that other parents learn from what happened to her.
“Speak up, and if you’re not happy with the answers keep pushing. Go to the school, go to the school again, go to the parents if you have to. I know it’s not politically correct to go and confront parents but if you know your child’s being bullied, confront the parents,” she said.
Here at theAsianparent, we take a strong stance against bullying and encourage all our readers to do the same. We’re on your side, Amber. Feel better soon, little one.
Watch the heartbreaking interview here:
How Can You Protect Your Child from Vicious Bullying?
Did you know that Singapore has one of the highest bullying rates in the world? Based on findings from data gathered by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Singapore had the third highest rate of bullying globally, back in 2015.
Having said this, the Singaporean government has strict policies in place related to bullying. And you, as parents, can also take an active stance against this menace.
What can parents do?
- Communicate with your children, as often as possible. Make sure you always know what’s going on with them.
- Look out for changes in their behaviour – if they look upset, don’t ignore it. Ask them what’s wrong and listen to whatever they tell you. Do also look out for what they do not tell you (non verbal clues)
- Try to know what’s going on in their social media accounts.
- Know their friends, know your child’s relationship with their friends.
- If your child starts acting or behaving in a way that’s uncharacteristic of them, start investigating.
- Talk to teachers and take it seriously if the school is trying to warn you about something. Don’t get defensive or dismissive.
- Know your rights – the new harassment law passed in Parliament enables victims of cyberbullying to request for malicious content to be removed. Victims can also sue for civil damages.
- Singtel and Touch Cyber Wellness have launced a mobile app notAnoobie as a resource to parents to help parents to protect their children from online threats like bullying.
- If your child has been victimised by bullying and is depressed, seek professional help. This is extremely important.