Bullying is despised by parents, despised by teachers, and despised by decent students.
It’s even called “cutting tail” in many boarding institutions! The administrators sheltered students in such schools by assigning each incoming junior student to a senior student who would behave as a big brother.
Bullying has rarely resulted in death in the past. It may have resulted in damage or psychological scarring, but it never resulted in death.
Bullying, as painful as it can be, is sometimes considered as a necessary part of growing up or a manner of toughening up a child for the dangers of life’s obstacle course!
Bullying is a type of youth-on-youth violence that occurs frequently in schools. Bullying is defined as persistent hostile behaviour that occurs in the setting of a power imbalance over time. Due to the unequal balance of power and influence that is so widespread in teenage relationships and peer groups, most school-aged children are exposed to bullying in some way. According to research, bullying and harassment in schools rises in late childhood and peaks in early adolescence, particularly during junior secondary school, and usually occurs in unstructured settings such as the cafeteria, hallways, and playground!
Students require a pleasant learning environment in which they can feel comfortable and secure. Their personal tension and potential aggression are reduced in a good environment, allowing them to concentrate on the learning.
Fortunately, students and school personnel may take steps to minimise bullying and harassment in the classroom. As a result of such activities, the school climate improves. One example is the strict monitoring of hostels and boarding homes.
Aggressive children may begin to prey on the gentle and constrained if they are not closely supervised by adults.
Everyone is shocked by the incident in Lagos State that led to the Lagos State Government ordering the indefinite closure of Dowen College in the Lekki district of Lagos, pending the outcome of an inquiry into the death of Master Sylvester Oromoni (Jnr), a student at the school. Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, made the news on Friday, December 3, 2021, following a meeting with the school’s management and staff.
The death of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr., a 12-year-old college student, has aroused a variety of reactions from Nigerians, who are demanding justice for the deceased. Sylvester was allegedly assaulted by members of a school cult, according to media sources.
Prior to his death, he had mentioned their names. Sylvester, who was tormented and battered by classmates, was believed to have died as a result of the abuse, according to a report. Dowen College, on the other hand, refuted the charges in a press release that went viral on social media, claiming that Oromoni was not tormented or abused and simply complained of hip pain after playing football. The child’s father indicated that, contrary to Dowen College’s account, the family friend who was dispatched to pick up Oromoni Jr. from school recalled a completely different scene. The grieving father said that his son had been tormented and beaten into a coma!
“The next day, we sent a family friend to pick up our son and transport him to the hospital because he was the only person in Lagos.” He was panicked when he arrived, stating that “he doubts it’s a football injury as the school claims.”
Without predicting the conclusion of the investigations by the Lagos State government and the police, one can claim without fear of disagreement that cultism is pervasive in our institutions and universities, and that it utilises bullying as a technique to impose its norms. In our secondary schools and universities, bullying is at the basis of cultism.
Cultism was previously unheard of in secondary schools. It was previously limited to universities, where it was used to frighten students, instructors, and university officials. As a result of cultism in universities, many dreams have been extinguished.
Cultism has been tolerated in our society for so long in universities, where cultists are even courted by politicians, that the harmful behaviour has now spread to secondary schools. Cultists and bullies are breeding grounds for cultists and bullies at boarding secondary schools! Regrettably, perpetrated by youngsters whose parents have delegated parental responsibility to the schools! How can we permanently eliminate bullying in our schools?
In light of what happened to Sylvester at Dowen, some people have urged that boarding schools be eliminated. But that would be the equivalent of throwing the baby out with the bath water. This is especially true because cultism can also be seen in day schools. Bullying in schools might be caused by strict parenting or sibling bullying at home. Even where parents work is important. Bullying affects adults in the workplace at nearly the same incidence as it does children in schools, and it even affects teachers and communities.
In other words, bullying isn’t just a problem for kids; it’s a problem that affects everyone. The children are not shielded from the outside world. Finally, we must make a significant transformation in our attitudes toward children and their feelings. When we foster children’s humanity and provide them with language and techniques to help them identify, express, and thus control their feelings, they are more likely to thrive.
Schools may lead the way when parents, teachers, and administrators get a better understanding of the complex roots of bullying and embrace new ways for dealing with it. We have a responsibility to the children.