Broomes: Say no to bullying
WHILE?THERE?HAVE?been no reported instances of bullying at Alexandra School, the principal there has told the students to turn their back on this type of behaviour.
Jeff Broomes, in a letter to students of the St Peter-based secondary school, said: “I encourage you and even directly instruct you to reject and report any identified incident of bullying.”
His comments followed an upsurge in the reported cases of bullying at schools across the island, with some parents complaining that the situation had got out of hand and needed to be addressed by parents, teachers and other people involved with the youth.
Broomes told his students that while the real issue of bullying may not have touched them personally, the same may not be true for one of their classmates, contemporaries from another school or a family member who may be quietly suffering in the “hell-hole trap of bullying”, either as victim or as perpetrator.
“You, like me, have a responsibility to understand what is bullying, appreciate the warning signs, accept its lifelong negative impact and commit to equipping yourself with all that is necessary to eliminate this clear and present danger,” he said.
“You have to care, you have to love, you have to respect and you have to be sensitive to differences.”
School life, Broome pointed out, was not only about academic success, but character development and memory creation must also be a significant focus.
Broomes said bullying hurts “the victim, who may become withdrawn and afraid to fully realize his or her true potential; who may be forced to suffer great emotional anguish and live a life defined by lack of self-esteem and self-worth as well as the fear and pain of actual threats and physical aggression”.
He added: “The perpetrator also suffers by forcing his or her way to positions through no true intellectual effort or performance standards and which are therefore not sustainable. This person can never look back with pride at any genuine achievement because there would have been none.”
He said that at Alexandra School there were strong support systems such as prefects, student counsellors, year heads, guidance counsellor, a deputy principal and himself.
“I want you to know and be sure that I love you dearly,” he said. “I am here as an advocate, supporter and guide for you. Let us commit to each other, to our school and to the outstanding legacy builders who came before us. Let us accept as a mantra: respect and care – yes! Bullying – no! (ES)