In the recent case of 18-year-old T. Nhaveen, it raised many eyebrows of Malaysians questioning what had happen to our society. There are many types of bullying namely verbal, cyber and physical. T. Nhaveen as described by his mother a shy and introvert teenager, was bullied and brutally murdered by a group of teenagers. Being a parent myself and a victim of bully in school I can feel for the victim and his mother.
A few other cases of bulling resulted in death namely
- navy cadet officer, Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain who was assaulted to death dispute over a laptop
- a student, Mohd Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi who was assaulted with a rubber hose by a 29-year-old assistant warden of the religious school that he attended
had given the Malaysians a wake up call, what had happen to our society?
When I was young, I was bullied in school due to envy as my parents protected me by sending me to school and picking me up from school. I gained this feeling from my fellow schoolmates and resulted being isolated by them. Whenever there are school activities I was isolated by my schoolmate calling me a ‘precious thing’ and teachers will always favor me, as my parents visited my teachers very often. However, my fellow schoolmates failed to understand why my parents visited my teachers.
In my previous blogs, I described myself as a weak child where I was admitted and visited the hospital many times due to poor health. My parents visited my teachers frequently as they were worried if I am able to focus on my studies due to my high absenteeism. Additionally, they focus a lot on my academic progress to ensure that I am able to do well in school to get a good education. Both my parents do not have a college degree and therefore they do not want me to follow their footsteps due to poverty and opportunity.
The verbal bullying stopped when I achieved winning trophies when I was 11 years old representing not only my school but my district and state. I became suddenly popular and being adored when my headmistress requested me to speak in the weekly school assembly sharing my winning experiences and my endurance towards this sport despite my poor health in my early elementary school years. I am also thankful that my headmistress observed that I was being verbally bullied in school, after my speech, she added (yes I still remember her kind words) that I was often being laughed and isolated by most of my friends and I didn’t mind if I was not invited to birthday parties or any after school activities, it didn’t stop me from proving myself that I can overcome my poor health. She also spoke of my bullying in school and the hurtful words made me cry in the teachers’ room and also in school fields during Physical Exercise periods.
What happen next? To my surprise, my bullies came forward to me in class and in school canteen, they apologized to me. All these years, I thought that my teachers were the ones who made them apologized to me. When I started to work, my ex-schoolmates who were my former bullies became my workmates. I chatted with them about school over lunch and one of them started staring at me.
C : Do you know when we apologized to you during elementary school…
C: We apologized from the bottom of our hearts. Mrs Y and the other teachers didn’t ask us to say sorry to you
Me: Really? (with surprise and teary eyes)
We ended up in tears and to be honest we became really good friends, I mean really good friends until today, if anyone of us need advice or help, we will definitely lend a hand. What made a us friends and forget the past? I always analyse from the aspect of a child’s parenting. Parents play important role in nurturing a child and letting a child know what is right and wrong.
All of my ex-schoolmates came from educated and well to do families and it was due to envy and jealousy that their parents do provide the attention that they need, made them a bully without realizing it when we were young. Being a busy working mum myself in the corporate world, my son did informed me that he was pushed and his classmate beat him on his chest. I met up with his teachers multiple times, I met his classmates when I joined them in their sports, concerts and field trips, at this young age they maybe playful. I also reminded myself that it may be a different perception to a child and I was advised to observe my son’s behavior.
Being a victim of school bullying, I do not wish to have my children fall victim. Therefore, I ensure that I spend time to speak to my children with regards to school and home. I often start the conversation with how’s school and I allow them to elaborate what happen in school. I played a friend role instead of a mummy role towards my children to encourage them to be open to converse with me. I observed what they dislike especially when I was told on behaviors and attitudes and reminded myself to avoid these, difficult at times as I am also human but will definitely try my best.
We as adults, parents and siblings should avoid from being a bully and also being bullied. We must speak up and stand up for what is right and STOP BULLYING! Most importantly make time for our children by being part of them and speak to them despite our busy schedules.