School heads, parents and students must report bullying: Minister

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PARENTS can report bullying in schools to police, says Education, Heritage and Arts Minister Rosy Akbar.

“We do not condone bullying,” Ms Akbar said.

“We have just issued a student conduct policy to all the schools and hopefully the heads of schools will be able to manage it as it is now a policy matter.

“The student conduct policy includes bullying and harassment of any kind.”

She made the statement in reply to recent reports of student bullying in schools.

Ms Akbar said she was aware of complaints from parents and the ministry was working on ways to tackle the issue.

She said parents had the right to report cases of bullying to police.

Ms Akbar says every school has a management behavior policy and school heads must be capable of dealing with cases of bullying.

She said divisional heads of schools were also available to assist school heads.

“Bullying is not a new issue in schools, but the cases that are coming up are alarming and that is one behaviour that we do not expect from our students in schools or outside schools.”

Ms Akbar urged parents to be: mindful of their children’s behaviour; for teachers to be alert if such behaviour persists; and for students who are victims of bullying to report the matter so the ministry can deal with it.

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