Authorities must act quickly to tackle abuse and violence in schools, says Wanita MCA

KUANTAN: The cases of abuse and violence against children in school are very alarming and must be dealt with swiftly by the government, Wanita MCA chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie said (Photo).

Referring to a recent report from the All Women’s Action Society (Awam) and Save the Schools MY (STS), Heng said it was as much a heartbreaking experience as a rallying cry for the sake of the children.

She said the school environment is meant to be a safe space for children to learn, grow and interact with their peers.

Therefore, it was unacceptable that some of them were victims of sexual harassment, spot checks and bullying.

“Even more worrying, a third of offenders are members of the school authority. As role models and protector of students, teachers have a lot of trust and respect.

“Therefore, any teacher who abuses his authority to victimize students should be condemned and punished,” Heng said in a statement Friday (December 3rd).

The report titled “770 Testimonials of Sexual Harassment, Rule Spot Checks, Bullying and Other Abuse at School” found that 89.2% of all sexual harassment violations occurred in schools. primary and secondary education.

In addition, out of the 1,145 incidents of abuse, the report identified a total of 1,495 offenses, of which 279 involved multiple offenses.

Of all the incidents, 274 resulted in victims experiencing negative psychosocial consequences that affected their mental health, school life and relationships, the report added.

Heng said that many victims did not even know what had happened or what constituted harassment due to lack of self-awareness and fear.

“Combined with the anxiety (of the victims) to report the incident, many offenders were able to continue their heinous acts without being noticed and without reprimand.

“School is in part a reflection of society, and what happens in school today can undoubtedly take place in society tomorrow,” she said.

Heng urged all relevant ministries, especially the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, to study the report thoroughly and take immediate action.

She said such action should establish clear guidelines and inform all levels of the education system – from the principal, teachers and school workers to students and parents – about what to do when these incidents are reported.

She also urged the Ministry of Education, school authorities and parents to unite through the “Say No to Violence” campaign to establish anti-bullying guidelines, educate students on self-protection and ensure effective supervision by parents and teachers to prevent such incidents. to occur.

“We can no longer allow these offenders to prey on our children. After all, it is our collective responsibility as a community to be the stewards of our next generation.

“Let us be the role models our children need, so that they can grow up safe and healthy and become the leaders of Malaysia’s future,” Heng said.

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