Dad speaks out against bullying; Shares son’s experience

A father of a victim of bullying says students shouldn't have to feel less than a man to report a case of assault and torture, and they should be trained to understand that any form of physical assault is wrong on all levels. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

THE parent of a former student of a prominent school in Tailevu says bullying at the school is “outrageous” and “barbaric”.

The father, who wished to remain anonymous, claims his son is a victim of bullying.

He claimed the incident prompted him and his wife to pull their son out of the school.

“I feel infuriated because I didn’t quite understand how a student or a group of students could assault and bully my son who is well-behaved and well-mannered, for absolutely no good reason,” the father told The Fiji Times.

He said seeing the bruises on his son’s body and hearing of brutality cases was sad.

“Then when you learn that the school head doesn’t do anything about it or doesn’t do enough to resolve this serious matter, you feel a lot of discontentment and that can be extremely annoying and unsettling.

“The Ministry of Education must be proactive in implementing suitable programs where the issue of bullying is eminent and imminent.

“Old scholars can assist through coaching and mentoring these young students.

“Parents must teach their sons and daughters good moral values because it all starts at home.”

He said he could not fathom the brutal extent of bullying in schools.

He claimed there was a common distrust in the disciplinary process of the school.

He said this was the reason parents withdrew their children from the school.

“It is sad because this was their school of choice for these young adults. There is a culture of bullying and victimisation in this school that needs to be addressed urgently,” he claimed.

He claimed students expected to get beaten if they could not provide food or money to a senior student.

He said his son would never speak out and this says a lot about the level of emotional trauma students faced.

“This is how they’ve been trained to think. Anyone who tells will be viewed as a snitch and subjected to further bullying and alienation.

“It is, for this reason, you will find that many of the junior boys in this school are suffering in silence. Some will have bottled up emotions and pain. They have been taught to take it like a man.”

He empathised with the junior students and encouraged them to come out and share their stories.

“They feel they can’t share their struggle and pain with their parents or their teachers.

“The trauma is often unrecognised and long lasting and the scars can be pathological and result in self-harm.

“Students shouldn’t have to feel less than a man to report a case of assault and torture. They should be trained to understand that any form of physical assault is wrong on all levels.”

The parent said the matter was reported to the Education Ministry.

He also sought the ministry’s assistance in finding a new school for his son.

Meanwhile, questions sent to the Education Ministry on Tuesday on this case remained unanswered.

More Stories