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We build a strong and relevant society by starting out right

It is both sad and appalling when our society again revealed its ugly side in the most recent school bullying incident as reported in Today and Mothership. A girl with different abilities from the rest of her schoolmates was called hurtful names and assaulted physically. This continued for more than a year, despite the victim’s continued appeals for help from her trusted school teachers and those in authority. The bullying led her to attempted suicide.

What has happened to our schools and education system, which pride itself in delivering consistent academic excellence? We expect our schools to be safe environments for our children to learn about and prepare for life. Safe does not mean insulated and buffered from realities. Safe means allowing our children to learn the hard realities of life, and yet has the assurance that there is a sturdy system of remedial recourse and protection that underpin that learning environment – not dissimilar to what one can expect of a functioning first world society.

Why were the school teachers and administrators unable to successfully intervene in this particular case? For whatever actions the school claimed it did, the fact is that the problem was not expeditiously addressed despite continued appeals for help from the young victim. When the schools cannot or are unwilling to provide such safe learning environments, it calls out to us to re-evaluate our country’s education policy. Was it incompetence, despite the ministry’s regular statements that bullying will not be tolerated? Was it inconvenience, caused to teachers and administrators who have important things to do like the timely completion of syllabus or career-threatening issues like KPIs and rankings to achieve? Within all this bureaucracy and administrative tasks, where is the student?

We have been talking about mental health in the workplace and in our homes. We must also look at the mental health of our children in schools. The ministry has been talking about spotting vulnerable students who may be bullied, abused or contemplated self-harm and suicide. After all that talk, what have the results been? Even one student ending her young life through suicide is already one too many. As the parent of the recent victim said, all this is preventable. It is not some incurable disease or some natural occurrence beyond anyone’s control. These anti-social extremes such as bullying and suicides are indeed preventable. It is time for society, including the schools, to step up and take concrete actions.

It is shameful to see that the girl was picked on by the boys because she is different from most of their peers. We decry elitism and racism. What do we do when we see people who are not similar to us? If we want to be a first world society, the virtue of acceptance and tolerance must be taught and imbued into our being early in life. Schools are a natural place to do this – no need to wait for National Service for the boys or the participation in the Olympic Games to inculcate that. Our society and government can play a significant part in strengthening our social fabric by relooking at our laws and practices that discriminate people with different skins, abilities or beliefs. Our society can start with the removal of the CMIO classification in our national records.

Let’s not wait anymore. Stop the discrimination. Let’s together as one united people, regardless of race, language or religion, build a democratic society, based on Justice and Equality.

#SDPNOW

 

 

*Facebook post by Alfred Tan. The author stood as a candidate for the SDP in GE2020.

 

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10 Responses to “We build a strong and relevant society by starting out right”

  • PAP CLOSE DOWN:

    What do you expect from (some) people who make personal attacks on their colleagues?

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  • Bullying everywhere:

    Just take a look at lum parliament, you can already see the bullying.

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  • xoxo:

    This victim of school-bullying is one example amongst countless of such cases in our SCHOOLS where our kids are supposed to be TAUGHT TO BE GOOD LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS,no less.

    How can any school principal ignore his/her charge’s desperate plea for HELP against her bullies in school?
    Why the MOE also diam-diam and TIDAK APA?
    ARE OUR ELITES SO BUSY WITH COUNTING MONEY so much so that THEY HAVE NO TIME even for doing a decent job???

    School bullies must be punished severely.
    The trend is worrisome.
    This should be stopped asap before we churn out hooligans that grow up to become LAW-BREAKERS?

    * TEACH LESS,LEARN MORE*.
    REALLY?

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  • Tatman:

    The MOE won’t do anything, especially to horrible kid bullies from elite families. You can also find a lot of these issues in the National Service (aka National Slavery).

    Treacherous PAP likes to promote bully and elitist culture, all thanks to the sadistic 61.24% sohai who voted them in to kill us all.

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  • Elites screw Singaporeans:

    The whole PAP machinery has a BULLING culture.Starting with OLD FART LEE KAYU.,throwing his political opponents in jail without any trial.This mother fucker broke up many families.Little boys and girls grew up without knowing their fathers.He told than President Davan Nair that he will make JB Jayaratam beg him on bend knees.For all his BULLING OLD FART did not die peacefully.
    The son is also a BULLY scolding Singaporeans who voted for opposition FREE RIDERS.He always scolded Singaporeans at every opportunity. According to him Singaporeans commit more crimes than his DARLING FT.He uses state organs to bully his brother and sister.He spends most of his time FIXING Athena opposition.
    The leaders themselves are a BAD EXAMPLE at showing compassion and care so how can one expect the young to ac other wise.
    The worst was when the PMs man wife made sarcastic comments when Pratam Singh donated part of his allowance to charity.
    Our PAP leaders are a BAD example and should be ashamed of themselves.
    .

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    Who never been bully b 4 ?

    Soon to take over President Joe Biden also been bully before.
    He’s born a stutter. When he’s in school, hes always been ridicule , laugh at and pick on.
    Did he commit suicide ? No ( of course u can say he’s Catholic ) but instead everyday he stand in front of the mirror and practice to speak normally. Slowly correcting and after years eventually his stutter problem was overcome. He speak fluently and even can go public speaking, in the end people around him saw the change, salute him or respect him.

    Later when his political career took off His wife and daughter was killed in a car accident leaving him to travel many km to and fro by train just to take care of his own 2 sons.

    After sons became man His first son his most loved n promising one, passed away due to brain cancer. If not wrong he had to drop out of presidency run ( much earlier way before Obama even came into the picture ) because of his son’s illness. Unfortunately still 白髮松黑髮. And Biden himself also kena very serious illness before ( i think cancer or tumor ) but recovered after surgery or treatment.

    And Thats just first part of his story.

    Blow after blow , the guy still hanging in there. And today he’s going to be next coming president.

    But life strange, Biden seems to be a abstinence person , no bad scandals. However god leave him with a second son who is the screw up one ( take drugs , corrupted , womanizer , ..) ?

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  • TumasikPatriot:

    Elites screw Singaporeans:
    The whole PAP machinery has a BULLING culture.Starting with OLD FART LEE KAYU.,throwing his political opponents in jail without any trial.This mother fucker broke up many families.Little boys and girls grew up without knowing their fathers.He told than President Davan Nair that he will make JB Jayaratam beg him on bend knees.For all his BULLING OLD FART did not die peacefully.
    The son is also a BULLY scolding Singaporeans who voted for opposition FREE RIDERS.He always scolded Singaporeans at every opportunity. According to him Singaporeans commit more crimes than his DARLING FT.He uses state organs to bully his brother and sister.He spends most of his time FIXING Athena opposition.
    The leaders themselves are a BAD EXAMPLE at showing compassion and care so how can one expect the young to ac other wise.
    The worst was when the PMs man wife made sarcastic comments when Pratam Singh donated part of his allowance to charity.
    Our PAP leaders are a BAD example and should be ashamed of themselves.
    .

    Dr Woffles Wu article on his Grandfather during the war says it all…rounded up to be shot his grandpa escape with help from his grandma who found a drain not sealed or fence and he crawled to safety…served in the Police Force with Honour after the war…

    COMPARE!!! a Coward stop by the Kempetie dreaded Police of the Japs during the occupation told a Fantastic story meant for The Marines…he Sweet Talked the Kempetie to allow him to Collect his Clothes and never return…what a LOAD of Fictitious CRAP!!!…NON-FICTION:>>> (going for a safe holiday @ Cathay Building Kempetie Headquarters to work as a Traitor after negotiations with a Local Indian working for the Kempetie to mediate for his life and a lifelong partnership as PM & President followed)…

    Fast forward…Adopting the evils of the Japs during the war he put into practice what he learned from them…How to be Evil and Bend the Minds and Bodies of your opponents and create a following as an Elite Society over the less privileged and Peers who disagree with your EVILs… KILLING a Million+++ unborn BABIES circa 1974-2006 through LEEgal Abortion!!!

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  • Down with elitism & hubris:

    “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. Don’t let schooling interfere with your education. Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

    - Mark Twain

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  • Harder Truths:

    There is no ‘country’ to support anymore. People should be aware that the old $G will never come back. You are on your own to survive the new wave of migrants and the despotic regime as best you can.

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  • sad situation:

    Failure of our education system.
    Need a overhaul.
    The principal and the teachers involved should be sacked for moral failure to protect the venerable under their care.

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