IN THE digital age where bullying has taken various forms and questions are being raised about the safety of children in schools, schools are now telling students how to identify and handle bullying. Only weeks after the Universities Grants Commission encouraged educational institutes to nip ragging at school levels, special counselling and anti-bullying week are taking place at school campuses.
JBCN International School in Parel held an anti-bullying week between November 13 and 17 to raise awareness among students to identify, handle as well as report instances of bullying. Through the week, students in classes I to X were told about the difference between teasing and bullying, various kinds of bullying practices, the places and situations in which bullying may take place. Students were also told about the effects that bullying could have on a person.
Students also exhibited various posters and installations on the campus and performed streetplays to create awareness. “A special focus was given to cyber bullying, which in this day and age has become widespread. We told students what was the right use of social media,” said Kunal Dalal, managing director of the school.
The school also held special sessions with parents to help them understand how to identify if their child was bullied or was showing signs of being a bully. “The involvement of parents in the fight against bullying is crucial,” said Kalpana Dwivedi, principal of St Joseph’s School, Panvel. The school has recently issued a circular to teachers to spot bullying instances or aggressive behaviour among students. “We will bring this to the notice of the parents. A school cannot initiate corporal punishment but can only provide counselling. The parents also have to step in,” said Dwivedi.
At Podar International School, Khar, counsellors talk to students about the various forms of bullying. “The counsellors tell us what bullying is, how to know if certain behaviour is aggressive. We are also taught that every student is different but must be treated equally. Nobody should be made fun of,” said Svar Kamble, a Class IX student of Podar International School. “The primary focus is that students learn to accept their fellow classmates, friends, relatives as they are. We are trying to impart these values through our efforts,” said Dalal.