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Fiji Time: 2:15 PM on Wednesday 3 September

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Bullying in school

Avinesh Gopal
Monday, September 26, 2011

BULLYING is a problem that affects not only students in Fiji but other parts of the world too.

While parents, teachers and other adults don't see it, they may not understand to what extent bullying can get.

It is described as a person being picked on over and over again by an individual or group with more power in terms of physical strength or social standing.

A survey carried out last year revealed that it was not only boys but girls too were bullied in their schools.

The 2010 Fiji Global School-based Student Health Survey was carried out to measure alcohol use, dietary behaviours, mental health, physical activity, sexual behaviours, tobacco use, and violence and unintentional injury.

It was carried out among students in forms two, three and four and involved 1673 students.

Of the 1673 students surveyed, 42 per cent reported they were bullied on one or more days during the past 30 days before the survey. The affected students were boys and girls.

There were 50.2 per cent of students who said they were seriously injured one or more times during the past 12 months before the survey. Also, 47.3 per cent per cent of students reported they were in a physical fight one or more times during the past 12 months.

Police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said they would take a hard stand against student bullies.

"There was a case early this year where a student at a boarding school in Tailevu was bullied and the matter was reported at Korovou Police Station," he said.

"Some students were charged for assault and their case is pending in court."

Insp Sokomuri said bullying was a form of assault.

Save the Children Fiji CEO Chandra Shekhar said the organisation did not directly deal with bullying in schools.

"But we provide counselling services and through our Kids Link program we emphasise children to foster friendship," he said.

Fiji Teachers Union general secretary Agni Deo Singh said bullying was a serious problem, especially in boarding schools and there was an urgent need to address it.


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