Experts call for law on bullying to help protect juveniles
A total of 1,114 people involved in 1,881 cases of school violence and bullying have been arrested from January to November, and experts are calling for a specific law on school bullying amid the country's increasing efforts to protect juveniles.
Middle school students account for a higher percentage among underage suspects of school bullying, Shi Weizhong, deputy head of Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP)'s public prosecution department, said at a press briefing on Wednesday.
Separately, recent cases show male students are the primary suspects in school bullying, but bullying cases involving female students in middle school are rising, according to Shi. About 99 percent of 915 underage suspects being prosecuted in South China's Guangdong Province are men.
"At present, the primary task of tackling school bullying is to adopt a specific law, as the current law on the protection of juveniles does not fully cover the current situation of bullying on campus, Xia Xueluan, a professor of sociology at Peking University, told the Global Times.
The currant Law on the Protection of Minors only protects juveniles from adults but does not protect them from damages caused by peers, he added.
A total of 7,300 procurators in China have been named as deputy principals in middle and primary schools to help improve the legal awareness of school bullying, Zhang Zhijie, the director of the SPP's minor procuratorate department, said at the briefing.
Twenty-four procurators have also been appointed as lecturers on the prevention of and campaign against school violence since June, Zhang added.
More than 16,000 lectures have been held across China for more than 7.7 million students. The SPP said they will also arrange related TV programs.
Recent juvenile crimes mainly involve physical harm, troublemaking, robbery and public disturbance, said Shi, adding that cases of robbery and physical harm in Guangdong account for two thirds of 510 prosecuted cases from 2013 to 2015.
Juveniles under 14 who cannot be held criminally liable but are involved in bullying and violence on campus can be sent by the government to reeducation, Shi said.
According to a document released by the State Council in May, school bullying is defined as behavior that causes physical and mental harm to students through body contact, language and online.