Fifty percent of pupils' behavioral problems can be linked to violence they are subjected to in school, according to a survey conducted by Professor Esam Desouqi of King Abdul Aziz University.
His findings were presented at a Jeddah symposium organized by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s mental health committee.
The symposium concluded that violence against students in school combined with the scenes of violence that come into homes through television have generated increased violence among pupils.
Chairman of the mental health committee, Misfer Al-Mulais, said the symposium was aimed at underlining the issue of violence in schools and how to discover and handle cases, as well as the importance of the child having good mental health that enables them to play their future role in society.
The symposium recommended the establishment of courts specialized in education cases as a solution that would contribute to curbing violence in school. It also recommended more training for counselors.
“Major cities recorded more than 200 cases of teacher’s violent practices against pupils. A student needs a psychologically understanding treatment by his teacher so as to inculcate mutual respect. Parents also have a responsibility of appreciating the role of teachers in building society,” he said.
Bullying in schools usually happen between two students not students and teachers. “Schoolboys do not want to report physical abuse or bullying. For some reason they think it is a weakness and they all want to look like champions,” said Abdul Jabbar, private school supervisor. “We see a lot of injured students but when we ask them the cause they always say it is an accident or they fell down the stairs,” he added.
There are two kinds of bullying — physical and verbal, according to psychologist lecturer at King Abdulaziz University Haifa Al-Waadi. “Many students stress out from being called a loser or troublemaker by their teachers. Teachers should be role models for students and always use encouraging words and teach them how to be better people and not let them down,” she said. “When teachers bully students then other students take a hit and join the club. Some teachers also use physical abuse thinking it is a good way to teach a student a lesson,” she added.
“We should encourage students to report them to put an end to this because many parents don’t even know their children are being tortured by the ones who should be educating them,” said Al-Waadi.
Jade Gardiner is an Australian mother of a 7-year-old autistic boy who gets bullied at school here in Jeddah because of his looks. “My boy has witnessed many verbal and physical abuse from other children at school because he is pale and has freckles on his skin. He has also been kicked at his private part more than once but he cannot defend himself because of his condition,” she said. “I have spoken to his teachers more than once but they keep telling me that he is too sensitive and it is not a big deal.
I am stressed out over this and I want this to end. I have contacted the school to speak to other parents but nothing happened yet,” she added.
Awareness about bullying starts at home, according to Hadeel Alabbasi, life couch and family counselor. “The first step of bullying is teasing and this usually starts at home between siblings and a mother cannot stop it because this is in their nature. I believe mothers should teach their children good manners and encourage them to be nice when speaking to their friends and siblings and to respect other people and respect their differences,” she said.
“We have to fix the problem before it even happens. So mothers should interfere in this matter and schools should always report to parents about their children’s attitude so they can deal with it the way they want,” she added.
source: Arab News