Child bullies face problems as adults
By NEWSDAY STAFF Wednesday, March 13 2013
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PROTECTING HIM: A woman protects a child using a harness attached to him yesterday outside a snackette in Point Fortin last week. It is becoming more ...
ADULTS who were bullies as children are often susceptible to substance abuse, domestic violence and other violent crimes. “Therefore we can understand why we are not getting rid of criminals. We have to begin to look at the bullies and victim situation to see the kind of pathway that is being provided to criminality.”
This was the view of Steven Williams, former Director of the Schools Guidance Unit for the Ministry of Education and current Chief Operating Officer of the Foundation for Human Development, at the Violence Against Children Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Port-of-Spain.
He said only recently has bullying come to the fore as a major issue affecting children in Trinidad. Before, bullying was once considered a rite of passage for boys, with parents and teachers commonly reciting the cliche, “boys will be boys”, in trying to defend acts of bullying. Williams said the common perceptions of how boys should behave are dangerous to students, particularly boys who are taught to endure the bullying.
“You had to be bullied in order to become a man.
You had to understand to take the licks and then you move into manhood,” Williams said. He called for Government to create a national policy on bullying, so every school in the country could have a unified way of handling bullies and victims.
However, he said principals should be responsible for having a policy on bullying in their own schools so that the entire staff, including the auxiliary staff know how to handle students.
Williams highlighted that teachers also bully students.
He stated for an effective anti-bullying policy to be in place in school, over 80 percent of staff must agree with the policy and its guidelines. Cyber bullying is a new way of bullying that has emerged because of social media, e-mails and any form of information sharing on the internet.
children and adolescents are tormented every day by others through vicious e-mails, Facebook posts and incriminating pictures posted on the internet.
“With other types of bullying, children can just come home and be safe, when it comes to cyber bullying, there is no safe place to go. They are in their rooms, on their phones, their computers and they are still being bullied,” said Cheryl Milne, Chair of the Canadian Coalition for the rights of Children.
Milne explained that unlike physical bullying in school that could last until the student graduates, a person who is cyber-bullied would have that information following them for extended periods of time because of the internet.