Children are like flowers-soft and fragrant with petals of tender feelings. They need to be nurtured and cherished and handle delicately. They go about life with a curiosity and excitement that is hard to find. Yet sometimes you find a morbid dread in the eyes of these children when you talk of ‘school’. Have you wondered why?
Most often, the reason is bullying and ragging in school. Yes, your child might not admit it first but after patient and careful questioning, the answer would be this- ‘There is this boy/ girl who frightens me every day.’
Why are Bullying and Ragging an integral part of most schools? How can your child deal with Bullying and Ragging in School? Let us see.
What is the meaning of Bullying and Ragging?
Bullying is trying to intimidate someone using their superior force or strength and forcing them to do things against their will.
Ragging is a vernacular term used for playing pranks on hapless children by others in school or college.
Bullying is prevalent in schools right from kindergarten. But Ragging seems to have become a customary practice in schools and colleges for several decades now. In the pretext of ‘breaking the ice’ between new students and old ones, new entrants are subjected to unwanted acts of demeaning nature in the name of ‘ragging’. Although a strict disciplinary action is accorded to the culprits, Bullying and Ragging do continue undercover in schools and colleges and are a part of academic life.
Statistics of Bullying and Ragging in Indian Schools
Nobullying.com reveals statistics and reasons for Bullying and Ragging in Indian Schools. As stated here, an IMRB survey has revealed that ‘ every third child in the school is bullied’.
A White Paper released by UGC on ‘Psychosocial study of Ragging in Select Educational Institutions in India’ reveals that from 2007-2013, nearly 717 cases of nation-wide ragging were reported in print media. Of these 71 had proved fatal.
Such is the gravity of the Bullying and Ragging prevalent in Indian institutions. It is wise to educate children on how to deal with it in a sensible manner.
Dealing with Bullying and Ragging
- First of all, understand the psychology of a bully. He is merely a person who has been abused or ill-treated earlier and is trying to vent it out no you. This could be the obvious reason for his threatening behaviour. The other reason could be the fact that he is jealous of you or feels inferior to you. This is why he is trying to hit out on others to cover his weaknesses.
- Having understood the psyche of the bully, handle him/her gently. Treat them with care and disarm them with your smile.
- Be ‘as cool as a cucumber’. Let your cool composure leave the bully unnerved and set him thinking. He should be confused as to why you are not feeling threatened or disturbed by him.
- Do NOT show that you feel scared. You could be shivering inside, your hands are shaking or your knees trembling. But on the outside, you should appear ‘as brave as a lion’.
- The bullying is bound to increase if you show this kind of boldness. But do not feel scared. You are on the right track. Do not back down. Instead, increase your acts of kindness.
- Extend a helping hand to the bully. Greet him with a smile as if nothing ever happened.
- Do not ever agree to do acts that are demeaning, insulting or below your dignity. Politely yet firmly refuse. If the matter persists, take it up with your parents and inform school/college authorities.
- Always keep your parents informed about such Bullying and Ragging in school. Your parents are your best friends and well-wishers. They will be your pillar of support at all times and will guide you on what to do.
- Form a circle of like-minded friends and keep them informed of the Bullying and Ragging you are subjected to. In case of an emergency in the school, these friends will help or inform the authorities.
- Do NOT suffer violence. If you are being assaulted, inform your parents, authorities and if necessary, even the police.
- If you are being threatened online, do not respond to such emails. Maintain records of these emails/phone messages, discuss with your parents and inform authorities accordingly
- Do not ever retaliate with violence. This makes you no different from the bully.
- Most important of all, do not feel self-pity. Feel courageous instead.
Like exams, treat Bullying and Ragging as a part of school life which must be faced as a form of challenge. Remember if you can face this Bullying and Ragging in school, you can face LIFE itself! Reach out to let’s practise to gain information on such school-relevant topics.