“Wala na tayo magagwa, hindi ko na siya aawayin. Patay na anak ko, para saan pa?”
With eyes swollen and gritting teeth, we can all sense her suppressed anger cloaked in grief. Her 7-year old kid just died with a little time to say goodbye. His dreams to be an engineer now rest in a rented casket.. Another future gone in a painful slow motion when two of his classmates connived to wait for him after class, held him tight, and repeatedly punched him. They were 7 year old too. His chest bloated the following day, sleepless nights spent in howling pain until he was brought in the hospital. With a tube cutting through his lungs to help him breathe, he murmured, “I love you, ma, sorry ha. Hindi ko na kaya.”
I cannot comprehend the violence that perpetrated the mind of an 8 year old kid. None of it makes sense. Was it the media? Surroundings? Was it found at home? How can their innocent minds devise a cinematic inspired attack on their classmate? How are they going to have a functional normal life again after everyone accuses them of killing their classmate?
But more than that the bigger question is how can we stop this from happening again?
In Edutopia.org, tips on how to prevent bullying were narrowed down for school administrators and teachers. Tips are:
- Know Your School and District Policies on Bullying Do your part to implement them effectively.
- Treat Students and Others with Warmth and Respect Let students know that you are available to listen and help them.
- Conduct Classroom Activities around Bullying Help your class identify bullying in books, TV shows and movies, and discuss the impact of that bullying and how it was/could be resolved. Hold class meetings in which students can talk about bullying and peer relations.
- Discuss Bullying with Colleagues As a group, you will be better able to monitor the school environment. Discuss both bullying in general and concerns regarding specific students.
- Take Immediate Action Failure to act provides tacit approval of the behavior and can cause it to spread.
It’s such a bitter pill to swallow that it had to take a kid’s life to wake us up that bullying can kill. We must act now.