Anti-bullying action plan rightly puts onus on schools and teachers

Updated 2017-12-29 11:00:20 China Daily

The Education Ministry, Public Security Ministry and nine other central government departments have jointly published an action plan to address the issue of bullying in schools, which has become a grave problem. According to the plan, those responsible for repeated bullying in primary and middle schools will be transferred to reformatory schools. Thepaper.cn commented on Thursday:The plan shows the authorities are taking the issue of bullying in schools seriously and intend to set up a comprehensive system to prevent and control violence in schools.

The plan gives schools the responsibility to deal with any bullying on campus, in effect entitling schools to use a heavier hand to resolve the issue. And crucially the plan stipulates the school principals and relevant teachers will be held accountable for failing to fulfill their duties in this respect.

And the possibility of children who repeatedly bully being sent to reformatory schools is noteworthy, as it is the first time that such a heavy penalty has appeared among the disciplinary measures to tackle those children who refuse to correct their behavior.

Nevertheless, the authorities should be prudent in sending children to reformatory schools, and this should only be used as the last resort, because a diploma from a reformatory school is a lifelong taint.

Also, as the plan indicates, the schools should pay more attention to taking all necessary measures to prevent bullying from happening in the first place rather than punishing those responsible afterwards. Those children who engage in bullying are also in need of psychological guidance and help.

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