Bullying not acceptable & has no place in schools: MOE

An MOE spokesperson said schools will also mete out appropriate disciplinary action to bullies, if necessary.

Fiona Tan | August 21, 2022, 08:16 PM

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Bullying is not acceptable and has no place in schools, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Aug. 21 in response to the Aug. 16 incident where three teenage girls allegedly assaulted another girl in a Sengkang multi-storey carpark.

Responding to Mothership's queries, an MOE spokesperson said the schools will mete out appropriate disciplinary actions, where necessary, and to provide counselling and support.

Incidents reported each year remain low

According to the spokesperson, the number of bullying incidents reported to schools each year has remained low.

There were about two bullying incidents per 1,000 primary school students and five incidents per 1,000 secondary school students reported annually since 2012.

Bullying incidents can be "complex"

Upon receiving reports of alleged bullying, school staff seek to understand the incidents' underlying causes.

The MOE spokesperson explained this and said bullying incidents can be "complex" as it can extend into the online space, and often involve unresolved relationship issues.

Policies in place to address and prevent bullying

It added that schools have policies to address bullying, such as instructing students about the subject, as well as intervention measures.

Students are taught the safe channels to report serious incidents, inappropriate practices, or hurtful behaviours, while peer support leaders help to keep online and offline spaces safe and positive, and alert teachers where needed.

Dedicated staff are appointed to oversee and build a peer support culture in the learning, social and cyberspace as part of the schools' efforts. establish a caring and enabling learning environment.

Additionally, MOE said that schools will engage parents and work with them to provide students with the necessary support both in and out of school.

Avoid speculating

With regard to the Aug. 16 incident at a multi-storey carpark at Block 269 Compassvale Link, the MOE spokesperson said: "As the police is investigating the matter, it would be advisable that there is no speculation of the schools involved or the extent of the student's involvement."

The police said on Aug. 18 that the trio of 15-year-old girls have been arrested for wrongful confinement, and are under investigation for voluntarily causing hurt.

The teenage girl was injured but did not need to be taken to hospital immediately. She sought medical attention afterwards.


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