Sunday, February 18, 2018

Proper parenting one answer to bullying

This is in response to the story headlined “Stabbed boy forgives attacker” (Express, February 5). It is not often that we can cliché “out of the ashes comes the dawn of a new era”, but today is such a day. There is currently a wave of violence and bullying in our schools and many theories have been offered as to the reason. Some purport that bullying occurs because the bully is or has been a victim of bullying. Others suggest that bullying is as a result of an abusive home environment. Perhaps a simpler reason may be that the human condition in its most base state, succumbs to the need to prey on the weak or seemingly inferior.

As an educator, I have found that in most cases, bullying is a result of indulgent parents who have not taken time to discipline the child and instil a sense of responsibility or respect in him or her. Thus when placed in the public space of the school environment they are ill-equipped to respect others and their space.

Whilst I am not dismissing other reasons offered, I will maintain that most of us have ignored the value of good parenting. I believe that if parents take time to teach their young ones those virtues that part of the problem will be solved. Parents of bullies should teach their children they are responsible for their actions and must take time to discipline them rather than blame others.

I would like to commend the parents of the victim of the stabbing, for instilling in their son a sense of responsibility and respect. He has demonstrated the ideals of: “root, cause, analysis” and has acted in a most mature manner. Let’s look back: He pranked someone and that someone rather than bring the matter to the school’s authority decided to stab his assailant. The victim of the stab addressed his unfortunate circumstance by not only apologising for his first act of pranking but even went further to forgive!

Hats off to that young man! Bullying is a serious allegation and I am pleased to know that there are parents who have taught their children to take responsibility for their actions. Please understand that if more of our youngsters are taught to take charge of their actions and face the consequences especially when they hurt others, there might be some hope to rid ourselves of this demon. Getting to the root of the matter can make a world of difference. Was the boy right to stab him? No. We must then ask ourselves what message is he being sent? The parents of this boy must be distraught but the question must be asked: what would cause such a violent reaction, almost to the point of killing someone?

We have one issue piggybacking on another. Victims of bullying feel they must react, and rightly so, but how? Out of the ashes of this desperate incident, let us find hope in the knowledge that respect and responsibility once taught can heal wounds. Let us get to the root of violent reactions before offering analysis. Good job to the bigger boy! You took responsibility, you found the root of the response and you took a non-violent route to its resolution rather than perpetuate the violence. Please T&T, if we do not look sharp we will be faced with more stabbings. Is one life worth a cockroach in a bag?

K Reece

St Augustine