SCMP Saturday, January 6, 2001
How to spot trouble
The Education Department has produced a basic outline for parents and teachers to recognise bullying.
Indications to look out for in children who may have been bullied or are suffering from emotional stress include:
- Damaged clothes, books or possessions
- Money or valuables frequently lost
- Signs of worry and fear
- Poor results in school
- Refusal or reluctance to talk about peers or life at school
- Refusal or reluctance to go to school
- Complaints of headaches or stomach aches
- The inability or reluctance to explain the causes of bruises or other wounds
As a preventative measure, the department advises parents and teachers to help children to express their views and to be confident in saying no to unreasonable demands made on them by their peers. Teachers should also be on the lookout for students who appear to be ganging up on another student, and for students who hang around outside the staff room or seek teachers' protection in other ways.
They should help students develop positive social values such as supporting their peers and caring for the disabled.
As a remedial measure, counselling should be given to both the bullies and their victims, facilitated by the teacher in charge of the students, if possible.