All Forms of Bullying Must be Addressed.
The Accident Compensation Commission, Fiji says all forms of bullying including physical, verbal and cyber bullying must be addressed.
ACCF CEO, Parvez Akbar says that this is irrespective of where the bullying is taking place, including schools and workplaces.
Since 01st January 2019, ACCF has received a total of 384 notifications and 168 applications for school accidents resulting in injuries. A total of 28 applications amounting to $181,500.00 has been paid for serious injuries. Out of these 7 applications amounting to $36,000.00 has been paid for injuries as a result of assault to pupils in schools.
From applications that ACCF has received the following are examples of school assaults:
- Pupil lost his teeth after being punched by another pupil.
- Pupil was punched by his classmate when he confronted him for taking his stationary.
- Pupil was punched by his classmate after passing a remark in the classroom.
- Pupil was intentionally tackled by another student.
- Pupil wanted to wash his hands, but another pupil blocked his ways and punched his stomach.
- Pupil threw stones at another pupil causing injuries to the latter.
- Argument over a toothbrush and the other pupil poked his eye.
- Senior pupil pushed a pupil while he was running in front of rooms.
- Fractured arm when a student pushed him down a slope.
- While running for his home line, another student tripped him causing him to fall and injure himself.
- Injured knee when a group of pupils pushed him.
It is important for there to be consequences for individuals who bully others. The consequences need to be proportionate to the circumstances and can include a combination of disciplinary action and skills development. Schools should develop and implement robust bullying prevention and response policies. Research suggests that bullying should be viewed as a socio-ecological phenomenon and not just an interpersonal interaction between the bully and the target. This view looks beyond the individual and acknowledges the multiple risk and protective factors that exist within individuals, peer groups, families, schools, communities, and the wider social environment. So, we need to explore how the community around students may influence their behavior. The psychological impacts of bullying on both the victim and the bully can last a lifetime so it is important to place emphasis on education and awareness to prevent bullying from occurring in the first place.