Police probe alleged bullying

The father of a student at a school in Tailevu has lodged a complaint with the Fiji Police Force after his son was allegedly assaulted by senior students last weekend.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the father said his son returned home unexpectedly on Monday to say that he and two other students were allegedly assaulted with a stick for not carrying out their duties at their school dormitory.

“He had visible marks on his buttocks from the assault and could not sit properly so I took him for a medical check-up to treat his injuries before we went straight to the Valelevu Police Station to lodge a complaint,” he said.

The concerned parent said his son confirmed such incidents were a common occurrence at the school, but most students did not want to share the details of such assaults with their families.

“I met with the dormitory House Master today (Friday) to discuss what actions I can take.

“I will do all I can to ensure that the students responsible for this assault get punished for what they did to my son.”

Police spokeswoman Savaira Tabua has confirmed a complaint had been lodged this week and investigations were in progress.

Psychotherapist Selina Kuruleca said students needed to understand that there was zero tolerance in place in schools regarding school bullying.

“It is the responsibility of the head of school to report this sort of behaviour and I also urge students to come forward and not be scared to speak out on such cases as it will not only protect them but other victims of bullying,” she said.

Ms Kuruleca urged perpetrators to consider how their actions would impact their victims and what they would think if such abuse were to happen to them or their loved ones.

“We need to promote safe practices for our children and stop exposing them to vulnerability, and I urge parents to work together to stop these things from happening.”

Questions sent to Education Minister Rosy Akbar remained unanswered.

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