The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) has advised students to be courageous and speak out against bullies for a healthy conducive learning environment.
Chairman of NAPPS, Amuwo Odofin Chapter, Mrs Ajoke Adeyemi gave the advice in an interview with the Newsmen, on Wednesday in Lagos.
According to her, bullying can come in different forms, including; hitting or shouting at classmates or intentionally extending one leg to cause another person to fall.
Adeyemi, who is also the Proprietress of Foresight Schools, Festac Town, however, said bullying either by staff or fellow students were very rare in private day and boarding schools.
According to her, most private schools do not tolerate the phenomenon saying “most NAPPS schools occupy students in classes and during break time.
“There are always teachers or support staff all around the school, even in toilets, staircases and other places.
“Most of our schools have hidden CCTV cameras on the corridors and playgrounds, which makes it very difficult for any bully to operate,” she said.
Adeyemi added that seminars were organised for the proprietors, to reinforce zero tolerance for bullying and also caution the schools on dangers of allowing controlling parents have their way.
She noted that the Ministry for Education also had rules and regulations all schools were expected to abide by or be ready to face the music.
She further noted that prefects’ role in reinforcing discipline was not to punish or flog but to report erring students to the school’s disciplinary committee for action.
The chairman said from experience, most cases of bullying began from homes, as such children were not adequately supervised on the kinds of friends they kept or movies they watched.
“Some even shout at their younger ones and talk back at their parents,” she said.
She, however, said that when cases of bullying arose in schools, the guidance counsellor talked with the students, and thereafter, invite the parents for a chat.
“The option of either expulsion or suspension is applied when such erring child refuses to mend his or her ways.
Adeyemi cautioned parents to play their roles in correcting their children whenever they erred and nurtured them in the fear of the Lord.
She urged students not to be afraid to report any act of bullying, saying “keeping silent will only worsen the abuse suffered.”