Archive for the ‘Behaviour / discipline management’ Category

Targeting teens

Saturday, August 24th, 2019

Some of the latest e-cig and vape devices are cheap, as small as your thumb and can even be worn as a watch. Tobacco control experts say awareness among parents and teachers are crucial in keeping this new addiction out of schools.

LET’S be clear – e-cigs and vape (ECV) are electronic drug delivery devices that can be used with the likes of meth and marijuana, warns Universiti Malaya Centre of Addiction Sciences (UMCAS) chief coordinator and the varsity’s Nicotine Addiction Research & Collaboration Group (NARCC) coordinator, Assoc Prof Dr Amer Siddiq Amer Nordin.

The smoking cessation specialist says there’s a chance that students using ECV will be exposed to other drugs.

“And it’s likely they’ll face the same problems – like poor grades – as students who smoke.”

Dr Amer Siddiq was commenting on findings published in the July edition of the Journal of Criminal Justice.

‘It’s all the rage! Exploring the nuances in the link between vaping and adolescent delinquency’ suggests that there may be something “criminogenic about vaping among adolescents”. But the strength of the relationship between vaping and delinquency depends on what is being vaped, with marijuana vaping being most heavily correlated with delinquency.

Dr Nur Amani@Natasha Ahmad Tajuddin, the lead of the NARCC smoking prevention programme in schools, says when the use of ECV is related to crimes like theft, violence, fighting, bullying, and running away from home, more effort is needed to curb the habit.

“Parents must realise that ECV has negative health, mental, economic and academic impact on youths.”

Young at risk

Four years ago, ECV use among students was less than 3% because the devices were too pricey for most teenagers, Assoc Prof Dr Anne Yee notes.

According to the Tobacco and E-cigarette Survey among Malaysian Adolescents 2016 (Tecma), a whopping 36.9% of students start on the devices between the ages of 14 and 15, and now, we’re seeing a spike in teenage use.

Easily passed-off as a smart watch, thumb drive or pen, the eye-catching devices look like the latest fashion accessories, says the addiction psychiatry expert and UMCAS member.

“Sellers are going all out to push the product to teens by making it cheaper and more accessible.

“Many even give it free to attract young customers. Drug pushers use the same tactic to get people hooked so that they keep coming back.”

These days, huge, eye-catching banners adorn night markets with traders openly displaying their wares. Clearly, the colourful e-liquid bottles with fancy names were designed for kids, teenagers and women, she says. These are groups that may never smoke yet we’re turning them into ECV users.

“If sellers are targeting adult smokers who want to quit, they wouldn’t need gimmicks. Why make such fancy designs?”

Dr Nur Amani says a recent study reported that 22% of children aged between 11 and 15 in England, use ECV compared to 18% who start smoking.

“This is because ECV ads are appealing. Here we have celebrities promoting ECV on social media to entice kids.”

Dr Amer Siddiq says more needs to be done to prevent a new generation of nicotine addicts from emerging.

“ECV isn’t safe. The devices could burn and the e-liquids could be adulterated.”

While studies have shown that children and adolescents see ECV as cool, pleasurable and fun to use, Dr Nur Amani says there’s a pattern of kids from lower socio-economic income groups being targeted by unscrupulous sellers.

Getting the girls

National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan says teachers nationwide are noticing a rise in ECV use among girls.

“This is scary because with cigarettes, it was mostly just the boys. But these devices are popular among both boys and girls.”

Dr Yee is worried because nicotine is being touted as a way to lose weight. It’s like what drug pushers tell women about meth.

As it is, more young girls are experimenting with e-cigs as compared to cigarettes.

Cute cartoon packaging and fruity flavours are aimed at female non-smokers.

Society still has a negative perception of women who smoke. But with ECV, the message is that even ‘‘good girls’’ use it because it’s fashionable and can help you lose weight, adds Dr Yee.

In December last year, The Star highlighted how ECV and e-liquids were promoted as weight management aids.

“Even e-liquids that claim to be nicotine-free contain the drug. And you’ll never know for sure how much nicotine is inside. It could be equal to 20 cigarettes.

“A nicotine high lasts for less than two hours before the craving starts. So getting youngsters hooked on ECV is a business tactic, ” explains Dr Yee.

If your kids are turning to cigarettes, ECV or drugs, it could be because they’re bored or have no one to turn to, she says, adding that children who feel a sense of belonging in the family don’t need these harmful distractions.

Easily addicted

Dr Yee says teenagers are much more susceptible to addiction compared to adults. Some even start to have nicotine cravings after just one try.

“The teenage brain has yet to mature. That’s why adolescents are more impulsive, emotional and susceptible to advertisements aimed at influencing their behaviour.”

Parents whose children are already smoking aren’t helping by getting them an ECV. While it’s better than a tobacco cigarette, ECV is harmful for non-smokers.

When inhaled, tiny chemical particles in the e-liquids can enter the bloodstream and cause long-term harm.

Those between the ages of 10 and 18, adds Dr Nur Amani, are especially vulnerable to addiction.

The medical doctor says e-liquids contain toxic materials like lead, arsenic, manganese and chromium. Exposure to even small amounts can worsen symptoms of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

ECV use among varsity students is also worrying, says Dr Amer Siddiq, who was among the researches behind The use of e-cigarettes among university students in Malaysia journal paper published in December.

The study, funded by the Education Ministry, involved 1, 302 students in six Malaysian varsities.

“Over 40% of students smoke and use ECV. This means that ECV has not helped them quit smoking, ” he says, adding that some users even experienced adverse effects like dizziness, coughs and headaches.

Anti-vape campaign

The Education Ministry recently announced that it would intensify awareness campaigns after claims of ECV being freely distributed among students, and photos of youths vaping, went viral.

Calling on parents and society to stop students from bringing the devices to schools, the ministry’s director-general Datuk Dr Amin Senin notes that ECV has become the norm these days – becoming more sophisticated and difficult to distinguish from other electronic gadgets.

Welcoming the ministry’s move, Dr Nur Amani feels it’s important to get tobacco cessation experts onboard to work with teachers.

More awareness campaigns need to be conducted by health scientists, educationists, politicians and non-governmental organisations, to show that ECV use is not “normal behaviour”.

Group activities, instead of talks, work better to impart knowledge. And, it’s more sustainable.

“The children themselves can then act as ‘peer experts’. The impact is greater when the message is shared by those of the same age group.”

Campaigns can be effective if we target parents and teachers, says Dr Yee.

With children and adolescents, the more you say no, the more they will want to try it, she says, adding that parents shouldn’t over-react if they find their child smoking, using ECV or taking drugs.

“It’s not the end of the world. Be an ally to your children instead of acting like the police.”

She suggests talking to children about the dangers out there instead of sweeping things under the carpet.

“Make them realise that sellers only want to make money by getting youths hooked on an addictive habit whether it’s nicotine or drugs.”

The Health and Education Ministries are already working together on the Kotak (Kesihatan Oral Tanpa Asap Rokok) programme to highlight the harms of cigarettes and its related products, says Dr Amer Siddiq.

But with the introduction of newer ECV models, there’s a need to raise awareness among the adults.

Citing some pod-and-USB-like devices as examples, he says these have very high nicotine content but most parents and teachers don’t know about them.

Recently, children were mimicking vaping because of what they see on social media, Dr Amer Siddiq says in reference to the crackdown on Ghost Smoke – a candy consumed by sucking on a straw to produce a vapour-like effect.

“The Kotak programme must be enhanced to cover ECV and its dangers especially the impact on young developing brains.”

NUTP’s Tan says most teachers are in a cocoon when it comes to ECV.

“We need to expose teachers to this new threat so that they know what to look out for.

“And teachers must be given more authority. Since we cannot cane and are vulnerable to lawsuits, we want legislation that compels parents of problematic students to come to school and be responsible for their kids’ behaviour.”

UM, says Dr Nur Amani, has been conducting educational and advocacy programmes in schools through its No-Cotine Club and Community and Sustainability Centre (UMCARES).

Trained students go to colleges and schools to carry out activities that de-normalise smoking and vaping, she says.

“Soon we’ll be approaching 80 partner schools to tell our children that EVC is not just ‘evaporated water’.

“The effects are harmful and it’s haram for Muslims. Hopefully when they go home, they’ll share the message with their parents.”

Smoking and IR 4.0

ECV will be among the hot topics at the upcoming KL Nicotine Addiction International Conference (KLNAC) 2020, says its organising chairman Dr Amer Siddiq.

As the country moves towards realising the National Strategic Plan to make Malaysia smoke-free by 2045, it’s crucial to look at all forms of technology that can prevent the uptake of cigarettes, he says.

“We’ve decided on the theme ‘Mission IR 4.0: Redesign Tobacco Control’ because of the emergence of various disruptive technologies that can either assist quitting, prevent youths from starting the habit, or attract people to smoking.

“ECV was initially touted as a way to help smokers quit but we’ve seen how Juul has ended up enticing youths to take it up instead.”

UM, he says, is already using data and technology in its tobacco control efforts.

The varsity’s dental group is working on an app for school children to prevent initiation to smoking.

And, Dr Yee is collecting data to match smokers with cessation apps that are right for them.

“We’ve thousands of smoking cessation apps yet the success rate is only 25%. Each app caters to specific personalities so we’re trying to match smokers with apps that cater to their preferences. This will ensure a higher success rate.”


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Sabah Education Dept: Use of ‘ghost smoke’ candy not observed beyond Papar district.

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Education Department says they have not received reports of the ‘ghost smoke’ candy being consumed beyond the Papar district.

Its director Mistirine Radin said reports of the candy being consumed had so far only come from Papar.

“We have yet to hear of similar incidents in other districts,” she said.

She said they were investigating the matter and had not received any statement from the Education Ministry over the issue.

“The Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) of a school in Papar lodged a report after they saw pupils allegedly taking the ‘ghost smoke’ candy,” said Mistirine.

She said the PTA reported the issue to the Papar Health Office and they subsequently informed the Papar Education Department office to issue letters to schools in the district warning them about the matter.

The consumption of the ‘ghost smoke’ candy is alarming to parents as they are unsure what ingredients are used to create the smoking effect and whether consuming the candies is harmful

By Stephanie Lee

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Lam Thye calls for task force to address school bullying

Sunday, July 21st, 2019
Social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye says a special task force should be set up to look into the problem of bullying in schools. — NSTP/RAMDZAN MASIAM

GEORGE TOWN: Social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye says a special task force should be set up to look into the problem of bullying in schools.

He said the rise in bullying cases of late warranted action on the part of the Education Ministry.

He said video footage that had gone viral recently showed that such “acts of violence” were not confined to boys, but involved girls as well.

“This is a serious matter which warrants the ministry to do a thorough study into the causes of these acts of bullying that are on the increase in schools today.

“Is it due to lack of discipline among students or external factors, such as what they see on the outside, including television, that are influencing them?

“Or could it be due to stress among students?

“As I said, all this needs very thorough studying.

“I am sure that the ministry is able to get the experts.

“The Parent Teacher Associations must also be involved because their children may be the victims or the perpetrators,” he said at a motivation camp for UPSR students organised by the Eco World Foundation, here, today.

Lee, who is the chairman of the foundation, said schools were not only for educating students to be good academically. He said character development was equally important.

“The inculcation of noble values are also in schools where students are taught noble values… but to what extent are students putting it into practice? I think these things are very important.”

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) recently issued a stern warning to the public not to spread video footage of a student being bullied as it had the potential to fuel racial sentiment.

Lee said Eco World Foundation was committed to helping students under its Student Aid Programme (SAP) despite funding challenges in the current uncertain economic situation.

By Audrey Dermawan.

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Student Kindness Ambassadors take the lead to prevent bullying in their schools.

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

Newly appointed student and teacher ambassadors take their first groupshot together at Kelantan Education Technology Division Center of Excellence with (from middle left) Alexius and Roznita.

Newly appointed student and teacher ambassadors take their first groupshot together at Kelantan Education Technology Division Center of Excellence with (from middle left) Alexius and Roznita.

KELANTAN: The #StandTogether National Kindness Tour inspired the students from the east coast to embrace kindness in their mission to prevent bullying in their schools.

The goal of the tour is to create student and teacher kindness ambassadors to act as leaders in their school and share the information obtained from the Kindness Tour Workshops with their peers.

“I am very excited to be a kindness ambassador,” said student Murni Irsaliza Mohamad Zain, 16, from SM Sains Sultan Mahmud.

“The information I learned today is new and very necessary for my school, and I want to see more of these workshops in Malaysia.”

Murni shared that she noticed the youth of her generation have gotten normalised to behaviors which she discovered after the workshop, is bullying.

The tour is organized by Digi as a part of the #StandTogether National Kindness Week Campaign with main sponsors and partners SP Setia,Star Media Group Berhad and Unicef Malaysia. The #StandTogether Campaign aims to prevent bullying in schools using by using kindness.

Kelantan State Education Department Guidance and Counselling Officer Mohd Shamsul Nazari Isa believes the knowledge provided during the tours equipped both teachers and students to identify and deal with bullying in school in the long term.

“I believe the kindness ambassadors will be good role models for their peers- judging by their reactions, they will definitely go back to school and also share their knowledge with their friends who will be affected.” said Mohd Shamsul.

The second leg of the #StandTogether Kindness Tour kicked off on Wednesday last week in Kuantan and has since reached Terengganu and Kelantan and created 366 new Student Kindness Ambassadors, bringing the total amount of teacher and student ambassadors to over 2,000.

SMK Sungai Soi student, Mimi Hafiza Dzureena Md Dom took her new role to heart and believes that there is a lot that needs to be done to change the perception of her peers towards lesser known aspects of bullying, such as social bullying.

“I don’t just want to be known as a Kindness Ambassador, I want to be an effective one- So when I go back to school, I will go back and propose to run a bullying prevention program in my school,” said the 16-year-old student.

“Through this workshop I learned how to deal with mental bullying, how to help those who are bullied and how to encourage kindness in my peers- kindness doesn’t end because when you are kind to someone, it motivates those people to be kind to others and it will spread.”

The emphasis on kindness in the campaign is a relatively unique concept in Malaysia, International Medical University Senior Lecturer and workshop trainer Alexius Cheang quipped that he has noticed a lot of people are initially sceptical of the concept.

“When you first hear it, it might sound silly but the research that I have read shows that using kindness a more effective way to prevent bullying is to increase focus on the positive instead of the negative, if we do this, eventually we will be able to counter the bad,” said Cheang.

By Myrra Baity

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NST Leader: Taking a new approach

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019
Despite the punitive measures to curtail drug distribution, drug seizures by enforcement authorities are almost a daily occurrence. (NSTP/IQMAL HAQIM ROSMAN)

MALAYSIA has been battling the drug menace for the longest time with punitive measures to curtail drug distribution and programmes to improve treatment of drug users.

While these showed varying degrees of success, the number of drug users, addicts and drug-related offenders continues to rise. Drug seizures by police are almost a daily occurrence.

Furthermore, records from the National Anti-Drugs Agency show that last year there were some 160,000 drug users and they still made up the majority of the prison population.

In February, police said the trend in drug abuse had changed from plant-based drugs (marijuana and heroin) to more harmful synthetic drugs (syabu and ecstasy).

Additionally, the emergence of psychoactive drugs is giving a new dimension to the problem.

Police are saying the drug menace has reached a new level. Such accounts do not paint a pretty picture of a country that aspires to join the league of developed nations.

Have we been doing it wrong all this while? It’s time, perhaps, to experiment with a different approach; decriminalise drug users, turn it into a public health issue, but go after the criminals — the kingpins — who supply and distribute the drugs. Drugs is big business.

A report by Global Financial Integrity (GFI) says the global market in drug trafficking has an estimated annual value of between US$426 billion (RM1.7 trillion) and US$652 billion.

Malaysia’s transformation into a modern and globalised society has necessitated a review of the current approach and strategy to the drug problem. But before we go down that path, studies need to be done to get a clearer picture of the problem in the current social context

Why the need for drugs?

Some do it because of peer pressure, a broken family, wanting to experience a new “high”, or to keep up with the Joneses. Others get addicted after taking prescription pain medication and developing a dependence on the very medication intended to help them.

Drug addiction is a substance use disorder, a disease, say some doctors. It is a public health issue, not a criminal justice one. And it should be tackled as such. But, how do we provide an enabling environment for proper care and treatment to reach drug users?

Amend drug laws and policies?

Consider Portugal, which has decriminalised all drugs since 2001; reportedly, there has been dramatic drops in overdoses, HIV infection and drug-related crime.

Portugal’s success, however, could not have happened without an enormous cultural shift, and a change in how the country viewed drugs, addiction, and itself.

For Malaysia to do the same it must be willing to make that “transformation”. It has been said that drugs have the potential to wipe out entire civilisations. And that is why the war against it must go on.

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Cops in school to maintain discipline

Friday, January 4th, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: On the first day of school yesterday, pupils of Sekolah Menengah (SM) Maktab Sabah weren’t just greeted by teachers, but police officers, too.

The Kota Kinabalu city police’s ‘Back To School’ programme launched at the school is aimed at preventing discipline problems.

City police chief, ACP Habibi Majinji, said 54 senior police officers and 112 lower-ranking police officers will be stationed at 27 secondary schools and 56 primary schools respectively as school communications officers (PPS).

“Last year, there were seven reports connected with student discipline. This year we hope there won’t be any,” said Habibi.

SM Maktab Sabah principal, Nuinda Alias, said the programme will motivate students to behave well.

Meanwhile, a total of 462,052 students commence their school session for this year at 1,074 primary and 222 secondary schools in Sabah yesterday.

State education director Mistirine Radin said from the total, 32,264 were Year One pupils while 45,883 students were in Form One.

“Another 2,387 primary school pupils are attending the Integrated Special Education Programme (PPKI) while 2,273 are in such secondary schools,” she said when contacted by Bernama.

She added that so far all schools are operating smoothly with monitoring by department officers as well as district education officers.


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Everyone has a role to play in preventing bullying

Sunday, July 29th, 2018

A FEW days ago, a friend shared a 42-second clip of three teens in school uniform brutally beating up another student.

While many such clips are being shared on social media every day, the situation is not just becoming more frequent, but also tragic.

Bullying is a serious matter. It should neither be condoned nor brushed off as something that people have to bear with.

It does not only affect our sense of self-worth, but also our relationships.

It may start with name-calling, teasing and inappropriate sexual comments. It usually degenerates into something more menacing. In severe cases, bullying can lead to suicides, arson and school shootings.

The trend now is cyberbullying.

It has graduated from email and text bullying.

Admittedly, the solutions to bullying are not simple.

Parents, students, administrators, teachers, bus drivers, nurses, canteen operators, office staff and other members of the school community have a role to play.

We can adopt some strategies to prevent bullying, such as:

CREATING a culture of respect;

NOT being a bystander;

KEEPING the lines of communication open;

ENCOURAGING children not to engage in such activities;

MONITORING children’s online activities; and,

MODELLING love and respect for children to follow.


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Arrest social ill before it is too late

Saturday, July 7th, 2018
Mat Rempit are a major problem in the cities. FILE

THE Mat Rempit menace is a social disease. It is so rampant that filmmakers make movies about these people. Some leaders even promoted this delinquent behaviour by building race tracks for them.

The government must be advised that the usual Malaysian malaise towards this has not worked and will not work in the future.

Mat Rempit used to occupy byways to cause havoc and mayhem in kampung, but now they have graduated to highways.

Just before the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays, I saw a group of them racing in the fast lane on the North-South Expressway. They were committing transgressions, oblivious to the danger they were causing to themselves and other road users.

I am sure the police are aware of this, but they have either given up or are not up to it.

Perhaps the new government can give birth to a “New Malaysia” by getting rid of these young miscreants.

There are three approaches that need to be taken. Mat Rempit are a threat to themselves, to others and the nation. Therefore, solutions to the Mat Rempit problem need to take this three-pronged approach

Firstly, the Mat Rempit are a danger to themselves. One must find out why this is so. The theory is that these miscreants come from broken homes. If so, the government needs to arrest the problems that lead to broken homes.

The Mat Rempit menace needs to be tackled at the source and at an early stage. Otherwise, it will spiral into a crisis. Today, children as young as 10 display delinquent behaviour in public.

Peer pressure, too, is a critical factor. Teenagers and young adults are susceptible to peer influence in their attitude and action.

A 2006 research by the police showed that most of the Mat and Minah Rempit were aged between 16 and 25. First, they watch; then, they follow; and finally, they teach this delinquent behaviour to others. This vicious cycle must be broken if we are serious about putting an end to the menace.

Mat Rempit are not just a problem in the cities, they are a menace to kampung folk too. Many cases of Mat Rempit riding into crowds had been reported over the years.

To an extent, the Mat Rempit problem continues to exist because they are allowed to gather in large numbers.

Some form of anti-social behaviour law or amendment to illegal assembly law is needed.

By Z.I.

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Create culture of respect to fight bullying

Sunday, April 1st, 2018
Twenty-three students from a Terengganu vocational school pleaded guilty to injuring three fellow students in a bullying incident last year. FILE PIC
A few days back, a friend shared a gruesome 42-second clip of three school-going teens in uniform bullying another student.

Such incidents are not only frequent but are also turning into tragedies.

Bullying should neither be condoned nor brushed off as something that people have to bear with.

It does not only affect the victim’s self-worth, but also his future relationships.

Bullying may start with name-calling, teasing and sexual comments, before degenerating into physical action, and sometimes ending in fatalities.

When does an act turn into bullying? The use of strength or power to harm, intimidate, assault or harass others, verbally or physically, constitutes bullying.

It can happen to anyone irrespective of race, sex or position — whether at home, school, workplace, on the street, playground or online.

Road bullying is also frequent. I see it almost every time I drive in cities.

As for bullying at schools, one estimate says 80 per cent of pupils have been bullied

My son complained about being bullied until I put him in another school.

There are many reasons for falling prey to bullies.

One of these is being different from what is considered by the bullies as the norm.

For example, students who are considered fat are bullied.

Sexual orientation and ethnicity are also contributing factors

Research indicates that if bullying persists, the victim will become isolated and depressed, and this may lead to mental disorders and suicidal tendencies.

It is not going to be easy to stop bullying.

Nevertheless, we can adopt strategies to prevent bullying:

CREATE a culture of respect;

STOP being a bystander;

KEEP the lines of communication open;

PARENTS must teach their children to respect others;

PARENTS must monitor their children’s activities; and,

PARENTS should teach their children not to be bystanders.


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Dealing with bullying the right way

Sunday, March 25th, 2018
The students and teachers of SK Kota Dalam in Johor pledge to prevent bullying in their school. Find out how to join them by going on to

The students and teachers of SK Kota Dalam in Johor pledge to prevent bullying in their school. Find out how to join them by going on to

When handling bullying situations, there are some basic dos and don’ts everybody needs to know.

WHILE it’s the community’s responsibility to step in when witnessing a bully intimidating a victim, to blunder in could make everything worse.

Bullying situations can get highly emotional – and that means victims, bystanders, teachers and parents alike need to know how to handle it with sensitivity and tact.

Unicef recommends the following steps to successfully diffuse bullying situations:

If you’re the one being bullied, tell the bully to stop and walk away. Remember, you are not doing anything wrong – you have the right to feel safe and secure at all times.

Tell a trusted adult. This can be anyone you feel comfortable talking to. If talking face to face is difficult for you, you can also write down what happened and pass it to that adult. Even if you believe you have successfully dealt with it on your own, make sure an adult is aware. They have the power to permanently end the bullying, but they first need to be aware that the bullying exists.

If you’re a bystander, speak up. Tell an adult or teacher. Remember, reporting a bully is the right thing to do, even if the bully is your friend. The bully might be having personal issues of his or her own, and reporting the incident could result in your friend getting the help he or she needs, as well as ending the aggression.


Listen and try to get the whole story out of the student, but don’t interrogate him or her. The student shouldn’t end up feeling attacked – it already took a great deal of courage to report the situation.

Make sure the victim/whistleblower understands that the school is on their side, and will take appropriate action.

When addressing the bully, avoid being overly negative and blaming them for their actions. Rather, try to focus on the bully’s positive characteristics – bullies sometimes act out as a result of emotional hurt. Reinforcing their positive characteristics can help to alleviate their pain and help them refocus onto something positive.

However, a severe case means teachers must firmly reinforce the school’s policy on bully prevention, in order to protect the victim. While teachers should be kind, bullies must still learn that their actions have consequences.


It requires a lot of courage for a child to tell you he or she has been bullied, so don’t demand to know why they didn’t defend themselves, or encourage them to physically fight back.

Instead, discuss ways they can respond, like walking away, using humour to discourage the bully, or taking firm action and saying “Stop that.”

Try not to interrogate your child about the incident. Instead, listen actively and assure your child that it’s the bully who is at fault, not your child. Don’t tell them not to worry, because it can seem dismissive and discourage your child from confiding in you aagain.

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