How do we attain a better future without raising healthy children in supportive environments?
Fez – School bullying is a problem that affects children all over the world, regardless of their religion, country, or social status. Developed countries are taking proactive actions and preventive measures against this issue; however, developing countries, such as Morocco, do not even acknowledge its presence.
To start with, bullying is a form of repetitive aggressive behavior, which is usually harmful and deliberate. It is always characterized by an imbalance of social or physical power; that is to say, the bully is more powerful than his victim.
Violence is not necessarily physical; it can be also verbal. Bullying behavior may include name-calling, verbal or written abuse, exclusion from activities, and exclusion from social situations. In this regard, it is worth refering to Haruki Murakami’s point that “violence does not always take visible form, and not all wounds gush blood.”
Another form of bullying which is somewhat similar to verbal bullying is social bullying. It can be defined as any kind of intentional mental abuse. This later manifests as manipulating other’s social lives, friendships and reputation. Spreading rumors, intentional exclusion, or convincing others to intentionally exclude the victim are a few examples of social bullying.
By becoming the subject of aggression, bullied children have difficulty defending themselves and tend to live with anticipatory fear of pain and humiliation. In addition, researchers have demonstrated that bullying has serious consequences and can leave deep emotional scars in the personality of children subject to bullying. Those who endure psychological bullying often have emotional problems that linger for many years after the abuse. Bullied children are more likely to experience anxiety and depression and their academic achievement is more likely to falter. In the U.S., many children have gone so far as to commit suicide after being bullied.
Bullying can happen in any context; at school, on the streets, in the bus etc. It can happen to anyone regardless of age. But arguably, the most dangerous bullying is that which affects children. It is widely accepted that childhood is a pivotal stage in terms of a person’s physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. Therefore, bullying amongst children is an issue to which we must afford careful attention.
In our culture, we do not care about children’s issues. Their opinions are not taken into consideration and neither are their problems. For many parents, bullying builds a child’s personality. This is true to an extent seeing as life obliges us to deal with all kinds of people, including nasty ones. However, bullying becomes a problem when a child is subject to it repetitively.
Moroccan children and teens along with many of their peers all over the world endure bullying, yet their suffering goes unnoticed. We all remember “Meriam” from Casablanca who committed suicide at 15 after being bullied by her classmates for living in the slums. Our community forgets the presence of hundreds of “Meriams” whose lives are ruined because of bullying. These students are the future of our country. So, how do we attain a better future without raising healthy children in supportive environments?
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