THE article “Tackle child bullying issue now” (theSun, Dec 29, 2021) will resonate with many parents, teachers and children.

The seriousness of the school bullying problem is highlighted by our Education Ministry’s Students’ Discipline Misconduct System, showing a steep rise in school bullying cases.

All children should have the opportunity to enjoy learning in both a physically and emotionally safe environment.

Bullying is a serious problem and if left unchecked can damage children’s education and emotional and physical well-being.

Children bullied often suffer alone and may carry their scars with them for the rest of their lives, and their true talents may never be known. Experts have also found that children subjected to bullying often end up bullying other children.

A clear and strong zero-tolerance policy towards bullying must be implemented in schools.

Teachers and staff should have a mandatory reporting system of dealing with this serious problem.

Parents, as role models, are stakeholders that also need to work with schools to reduce bullying; including talking to their children about the negative effects of classmates bullying them.

School education is not just about academic or sports results; but must include learning and practising social empathy values. Put simply, empathy is the ability to place oneself in another’s shoes, to feel another person’s stress or suffering.

Schools and homes must develop a positive culture with children, which critically teaches them not to be passive bystanders when encountering bullying.

Children must learn and be encouraged to be “upstanders” and firmly say “no, that (bullying) is not OK”.

Experts say that positive individual and group pressure in this regard can help stamp out or reduce bullying.

Sze Loong Steve Ngeow