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Bullying, protests and the new school year

By Ruth Puentespina

As the new school year begins, bullying is once again at the forefront of parental and school concerns. Adding to that is the current stress that the Anti-Extradition Bill has wrought on Hong Kong and its people over the past few months and the consequences of continuous protesting that has affected all strata of society. Particularly at risk are students who find themselves on both sides - as family members of policemen, as well as protesters who have been directly affected by this political issue. What teachers and parents can do to is to create a safe space to discuss what is going on without imposing their views or feelings on their charges. Educators in particular should avoid asking whether students have protested, to minimize risk of bullying at school or having them feel like they need to choose a side. It is important to start the school year right and to ensure that we continue to educate our youngsters to the best of our capabilities because the future of this city lies in their hands.

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