Taunting by primary school pupils after losing contest

Taunting by primary school pupils after losing contest

SINGAPORE - It was just a primary school inter-class competition but it got so heated that some members of the losing team went on Facebook to post nasty remarks about a few players from the winning team.

As more people - some friends, some curious online bystanders - joined in the online taunting, the Facebook post eventually attracted over 100 comments, with many liking the post, before it was eventually brought to the attention of a teacher.

"I printed out the comments and read through them. There were a lot of petty quarrels, a lot of scoldings and vulgarities," said the primary school teacher, who agreed to speak to The Straits Times on condition of anonymity.

The incident involved Primary 5 and 6 pupils and happened in recent months.

"In my school, the situation is not so bad that it causes physical harm to the kids, but it definitely leads to pupils being ostracised," said the teacher, who has been in the profession for about a decade.

Bullying in school - both online and in real life - was one of the topics discussed at a conference on harrassment organised yesterday by the Institute of Policy Studies. Experts spoke about the importance of training teachers and parents to spot the signs early.

The teacher who was alerted to the bullying incident following the inter-class competition said he met the pupils involved, and also spoke to their parents.

"I told the pupils about the consequences, and some overseas case studies, where people have been driven to suicide due to such cases. I told them, 'It could happen to you, or someone you know. Do you want to be involved'?" he said.

PEARL LEE


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