#Editorial

Bullying in Schools

BULLYING  in schools is an ill that has been on for centuries despite the recent hues and cries against it on the social media. Many students have been victimized, suppressed, and depressed by the actions of poorly trained children who became bullies following their poor grooming at the home front and in turn, became terrors to weak students.The trend is not restricted to Nigeria alone. Many tragic cases of bullying all over the world pervade the Internet. There have been cases where some white kids go as far as shooting their victims.

HOWEVER, authorities in the Nigerian education sector are speaking out against the ill and the victims too may no longer lie low in the face of bullying.Recall that Lead British International School, Abuja was in the eye of the storm over viral videos of bullying involving some of its students. The school was shut for three days and the bullied student, Miss Namtira Bwala sought legal action over the incident of bullying and attack meted out on her in the school. Bwala asked the school authorities to immediately investigate and pronounce the stiffest possible sanctions in the student’s rule book on Ms Maryam Hassan, Miss Faliya, and nine other students. A viral video posted on the internet on April 22, 2024, showed Bwala  being bullied by a group of students in the school.

BEFORE this, there had been celebrated cases in the media about bullying in schools that ended in tragedy. In this instance, the late Sylvester Oromoni comes readily to mind. The 12-year-old pupil of Dowen College, Lekki, died on 30 November 2021, after allegedly being attacked by some senior students for refusing to join a cult and has since been laid to rest.Recently also, a viral video of bullying of a female student of the Bamidele Olumilua University of Education, Science, and Technology, Ikere-Ekiti (BOUESTI) ,which surfaced on several social media platforms, has spurred the institution to wield the big stick by expelling two of its students involved in beating up a defenseless classmate to serve as a deterrence to other recalcitrant students.

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THE viral video showed one Miss Opemiposi Precious BOLAJI, an 18-year-old 100L Mass Communication student beating her colleague identified as Miss Gloria AJAYI, a 100L Mass Communication student, in a private hostel outside the University campus.By the institution’s policies and extant regulations, the students who were captured in the viral video appeared before the Students’ Disciplinary Committee and were subsequently expelled following the recommendations of the committee.

AS an emerging significant public health issue affecting many students globally, school bullying is a threat that should not be treated lightly. While several published studies have focused on bullying in developed countries, very little is known about the prevalence of bullying in Nigeria.

A study conducted to determine the prevalence and predictors of bullying in secondary schools in Edo State, Nigeria revealed that approximately half of the respondents (51.9%) had experienced at least one type of bullying, while 173 (27.9%) reported themselves as bullies. The most common type of bullying was physical bullying in different forms while the most common location of bullying was the classroom in the absence of a teacher; the perpetrators were reported by the majority to be classmates. Respondents in junior classes were more likely to be bullied than those in senior classes. Those who live in rural areas were more likely to be bullied than urban cities and those who were frequently beaten by their parents were more likely to be bullies than those who were not.

OWING to the prevalence of bullying being experienced across the country, The Hope tasks relevant authorities to implement protective measure in schools to protect the most affected and vulnerable groups from being victims of school bullying.It is glaring that many of the students involved in bullying come from violent although rich backgrounds and the teachers may not be able to control them as their parents may have the school authorities eating out of their hands.

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NOTICEABLY, all of the cases recorded in the media happened in the absence of their teachers. It is on this note that The Hope calls on teachers to instill discipline in their students and in the same breath urge parents to take their children and wards through basic home training and socializing skills.

IF the menace is not checked and nipped in time, the consequences can be dire on the learning processes in the school environment ranging from more students copying the bullying attitude, discouragement from going to school; lack of concentration; poor performance; bad results; and low self-esteem. As solutions to the evil trend, teachers must be committed to their duties and be alive to their responsibilities. Proper supervision of children and students is also key in this instance, and; school authorities should encourage students to speak out when they are bullied.

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Bullying in Schools

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