Bullying: A cancer that must be eradicated


Note:
All names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved, especially the victims.

A tragic end to an education that had barely begun 13-year-old Kiki stopped schooling because her classmates used to make fun of her relentlessly. They had accidentally discovered her humble background, her father being a street vendor. In another case, 15 year old Dinda could not take it anymore. She became depressed, left school and stayed at home because she was constantly teased by her classmates for failing in junior high school.

And in yet another, more recent case, some senior students of a junior high school took seven junior students, and subjected them to violent beatings. Sherry, one of the junior students, was rushed to hospital with bruises on his abdomen. He is extremely scared to go to school. Julie, a 10 year old, fifth grade student, states that her first two years of elementary school were a traumatic experience. She sadly remembers being cruelly bullied by her male classmates because she was overweight. They used to call her Sumatran elephant, baboon, gentong and many other names.

STAND UP SPEAK OUT

These are few cases out of hundreds of similar cases and the number is increasing over the time. In Indonesia bullying exists in every form, from teasing to extreme abuse. Even though incidents of bullying are common, unfortunately it is not seen as a major problem. A recent survey conducted by National Child Protection Commission has shown that more than half of bullying incidents go unreported due to the fact that it is considered normal in some parts of the society. Also the people who get bullied are either unwilling to report it because they feel it will “make a big deal”. Or worse, they are so scared that they don't trust anyone and do not want to share their plight with anyone (http://www.asianewsnet.net/news-34263.html). The issue of bullying has been a problem for years but recently it got limelight from news media when few cases were reported.

Bullying affects the children both psychologically and physically. It is estimated that hundreds of children miss school every day due to the fear of being mistreated by other students and in some extreme cases they choose to home school, or in severe circumstances they stop studying altogether (http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/facts-on-bullying.html).

Children should not be living in constant fear. They shouldn't be afraid. On the contrary, they should look forward to every day of school and enjoy school life. According to a research bullying has always existed in Indonesian society, but it has come to surface due to the recent proliferation of media technologies (Craig, 2009). Since bullying is prevalent in our society it is important that everyone should be made aware of this social evil. There should be campaigns to increase awareness. Everyone should be working together, against it, to stop it. It is distressing to see our children being isolated from society because they are treated badly. I am of opinion that no one has any right to harass or make peoplefeel inferior. No one should have that kind of power. These children are our future and we should make every possible effort to stop bullying.

I would like to point out that bullying is everyone's problem and responsibility. If you condone bullying in any way, shape or form it means you are taking part in it whether it is directly or indirectly by being silent. Majority of people agree that we have to work together towards eliminating this problem.

Some people may consider taunting someone as funny, even though it is anything but funny to the person who is at the receiving end. Minor taunts can create a lot of pain and suffering. While it may seem innocent but the cumulative effect could be highly damaging. In addition to that, as the pain increases, each instance cuts a little deeper which eventually becomes a sore.

Sumber : buku Bahasa Inggris kelas xi K13



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