Mr. Speaker, concerns have been raised in the media, unnecessarily so, about the Ministry of Education inclusion of guidelines against bullying in the Revised Safety and Security Manual 2015 for schools.
The facts are that the guidelines will address acts of bullying by and against ALL persons. There are no special categories.
The guidelines were informed by the findings of a survey conducted by the Child Development Agency this year.
The findings indicated, among other things, that 65% of students reported having “ever” been bullied. So the Ministry of Education is aware that bullying is not confined to any special group of students.
RESPONSE OF SCHOOLS
The Revised Safety & Security Manual stipulates the following response
- School administrators should provide guidelines for creating awareness about bullying in schools as well as identify sanctions to be applied where there are breaches.
- All reports of bullying must be documented and data kept on same.
- Steps must be taken to treat with both victims and offender where a case has been reported.
- Where the bullying involves matters of a criminal nature such as extortion and any activity likely to be developed in to a criminal activity, the School Resource Officer or the local Police must be notified forthwith for their attention.