A bully is defined by the online dictionary as a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.
“Bullying does not only take the form of physical violence,” explained UNICEF Representative in Malaysia and Special Representative to Brunei Youssouf Oomar. “A common and destructive form of bullying is psychological in nature, such as taunting, teasing, name-calling and exclusion from social groups or activities.”
Norwegian researcher Dan Olweus defines bullying as when a person is "exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons." He defines negative action as "when a person intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person, through physical contact, through words or in other ways".
An estimation of 30% or 5.7 million children are involved in bullying. They can be the victims, perpetrators or both.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) [Click here] had been adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1989, after more than a decade of negotiations.
This is the first and only human rights instrument to focus specifically on the rights and freedoms of persons under the age of 18.
The CRC, the most widely ratified human rights instrument in the world, outlines in 54 articles the various rights that all children around the world are entitled to. While families are central to the realisation of these rights, the primary responsibility for the protection of these rights is given to governments. Enshrined in the CRC are four general principles that extend legal recognition to the rights of children:
- Article 2: Non-discrimination
- Article 3: Best interests of the child
- Article 6: The right to life, survival and development
- Article 12: Views of the Child
Bullying is a distinctive pattern of deliberately harming and humiliating others. Many people think that bullies are either insecure or have low self-esteem. Recent research shows that some bullies may fit this description, but many bullies have high self-esteem.
The latest case of bullying in Malaysia as reported by The New Straits Times dated 10th July 2012 in an article titled "Bullies' assault leaves teen with ruptured eardrum" [Click here] is the latest example of how serious this bullying problem in schools are getting.
These are some of the ways to stop bullying in schools.
1. Contact Childline Malaysia [Click here] by calling 15999 to speak to a Childline Support Officer. You can also e mail them at talktous@Childlinemalaysia.org or to ask on a specific issues, askaquestion@Childlinemalaysia.org.
2. The Ministry of Education also has a toll free number for anti bullies (ADU DISIPLIN) at 1-800-884774.
3. The children's parents should get involve in a bullying program at school. This problem should also be addressed in parent-teacher conferences and PTA meetings.
4. Integrate bullying prevention strategies in schools. The strategies are to help address the protective and risk factors that bullying programmes do.
5. Both parents and youths should be engaged in an effort to send a unified message against bullying.
6. Create policies and rules which do not accept bullying.
7. The victim should always tell their principal, teacher or parent about them being bullied. Don't keep it to themselves.