STUDENT INDISCIPLINE: Act to curb violence in and outside schools

01 November 2012 | last updated at 07:32AM

By Samuel Yesuiah, Seremban, Negri Sembilan | letters@nstp.com.my 0 comments

CASES of aggression and violence among students within and outside schools should be checked and curbed by the authorities. Student brawls are common in secondary schools and most occur in the vicinity of the schools. However, some fight and brawl outside the school.

.A fight between three Form Four students at the Pulau Sebang a bus terminal resulted in the death K. Saravannan, 14

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The fight between three 14-year-old students which led to the death of a student in the Pulau Sebang bus terminal in Tampin shows the extreme of school violence.

As reported in “Outrage over couldn’t care less attitude” (NST, Oct 27), over 30 people, including Form Four and Form Five students, watched a fight between three students for over 30 minutes at the bus terminal complex. The crowd did not intervene nor did any of them call the police. As a result, a young boy’s life was taken due to the brute force inflicted by the other students in the deadly assault.

The report has resulted in public outrage over the “couldn’t care less” attitude of the crowd watching the fight. The public’s apathetic ways must change. More importantly, violence and aggression among students need to be reviewed and checked by school authorities.

Fights and brawls involving students should be handled and monitored by the police. There are many children in schools who have violent and aggressive tendencies. These are the misfits who do not have academic inclinations. They are a nuisance in school and disruptive in class.

In April, an argument between two 14-year-old students in school resulted in a fight which led to one of them being paralysed from the waist down. Fights and brawls in schools should be checked and student violence should be eradicated. Students should not be allowed to even touch their fellow students. Even a friendly tap or a slap on the back can result in a fight.

In football, a player who reacts violently to other players is immediately shown the red card and told to leave the field. A head butt or even pushing the player is deemed a serious offence on the field.

Perhaps we need to be stricter in enforcing an anti-violence code among students. Students can easily lose their temper and it can result in devastating consequences. Severe punishment should be meted out to those who slap, hit, punch or kick another student for whatever reason, even if they have been provoked.

Students should report to teachers whenever they are provoked or bullied. Many innocent boys fall victims to bullies who terrorise their lives. They make school a living hell for the good students. A culture of non-violence should be advocated in schools.

The Education Ministry has to set up strict guidelines for schools on ways to handle disciplinary problems such as fighting and bullying. Advice, counselling and warnings are the standard procedures to deal with student violence. Repeat and aggressive offenders should be expelled from the school.

The two boys involved in the fight should be expelled and sent to the Henry Gurney School for corrective behaviour conditioning.

Perpetrators of violence should be removed from normal schools and sent to special schools for rehabilitation. If this is not done, these bullies and violent students will grow up to be juvenile delinquents, vandals and road bullies and end up as thugs with criminal tendencies.

Parents of bullies should be held responsible and made accountable for the actions of their children. Parents should be summoned to the school and informed of their children’s behaviour. Proper enforcement is needed and corporal punishment should be meted to violent students.

Hopefully, teachers, disciplinarians and parents will play their roles as guardians and look after children from bullies and hoodlums in schools. Many children will not tell their teachers or parents if they are being bullied or harassed by fellow students. The onus is on the parents and teachers to check and supervise the children closely in schools.