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Bullying in schools

Bullying in schools

By Vijay Narayan , Semi Turaga
Tuesday 03/03/2020

Boarding school assault: PM sickened and outraged while the Education Ministry stresses zero-tolerance on violence in school (Tuesday 03/03/2020)

By Vijay Narayan , Dhanjay Deo



Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says he was both sickened and outraged when he saw a video from last year at Ratu Kadavulevu School that was circulating online, showing a student being brutally beaten and bullied by his classmates. 

Bainimarama says it broke his heart as he saw his own children and grandchildren in the student that was beaten up.

The Prime Minister says while police are investigating the matter, he wants to make it clear that Fiji should have zero tolerance for this merciless behaviour.

He says teachers alone can’t stop abuse adding this is a breakdown in our social values, and we need to fight it at every level, from government, school, and at home. 

The Prime Minister is asking students not to view the vulnerable as an easy target for picking on or beating as that doesn’t make anyone tough but it makes a coward. 

He says true strength comes from speaking out, standing up and protecting those who need it most. 

Bainimarama says parents know that this abuse too often starts from home and they need to make it clear that wherever their children are, they must treat all Fijians with kindness and respect.

He has also asked teachers to work to create a culture of trust and love in their classrooms that combats this behaviour before it starts.


Rabuka calls for independent review of education system including policies on bullying and alternate forms of discipline (Tuesday 03/03/2020)

By Vijay Narayan


The Opposition and SODELPA Leader Sitiveni Rabuka has called on Government to appoint an Independent Commission to review the education system and its policies holistically, including policies on bullying, assault and alternate forms of discipline as corporal punishment is now illegal, among other pertinent issues challenging our education system

Rabuka has expressed concern at the severe bullying of a student displayed in the video that has gone viral on social media. 

He says the current procedures within the Ministry must be reviewed with urgency, and incidents of violence should not be swept under the carpet. 

Rabuka reiterates that SODELPA has called for an Education Commission since 2014 for a holistic review of the education system and its policies for this very reason.  

Rabuka also says that this is not the first time an incident of bullying and serious assault has occurred, particularly in boarding schools. 

He says the lack of clear policy statement from the Ministry about the incident is a concern. 

Rabuka believes the plethora of issues and problems in the Education Sector will continue to increase due to the current behaviour of the Government in dictating policies rather than having dialogue with key stakeholders, particularly the owners of schools.  

He says the chopping and changing of policies, permanent secretaries and senior personnel and the brain drain have led to a deterioration in our education sector.  

Rabuka says Government must consider alternate methods of punishment since the courts have declared corporal punishment as unlawful.

He says there is no excuse as the High Court made that determination in 2001. 

Rabuka says a Lautoka High Court ruling between Naushad Ali and the State had ruled against the use of corporal punishment in schools. 

He says having instituted a zero-tolerance policy for bullying in schools, the Ministry must enforce it.


Biman Prasad calls out the Ministry of Education in relation to recent cases of bullying Tuesday 03/03/2020

By Semi Turaga


National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad says the Ministry of Education has a lot of explaining to do after recent cases of bullying. 

A video is also being circulated online showing a student of a boarding school in Tailevu being brutally assaulted.

Prasad is questioning if any teacher or Head of School especially in respect of senior students/prefects punching, slapping and hitting a young student with a piece of timber, was made aware of the incident and if it was reported to the Education Ministry.

He is asking if the matter was reported, what action did the Ministry take.

Prasad says the Minister for Education must clearly tell the people how the Ministry plans to enforce the zero-tolerance policy on bullying on schools because it is clearly not working.

He adds the Ministry must get to the root of the problem as to why students think they can become a law unto themselves.

Prasad adds that they are also shocked to read a report stating that the Education Ministry described the bullying of a student at a Suva school as accidental when evidence clearly shows it wasn’t.

Prasad also says that it is a matter of wonderment that Police are only acting after videos surfaced on social media.

He says we have had enough of lawlessness and thuggery in this country for the last 13 years.

Prasad further says the last place one would want to experience it is in our schools.

He says bullying and brutality in schools is another indication of the social and moral decay in our society.

He says the NFP was aghast after witnessing the incidents of bullying that are in fact students being victims of brutality. 


Year 3 student is the youngest victim of bullying based on recent complaints (Tuesday 03/03/2020)

By Vijay Narayan


The Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission has received four complaints this morning from parents and guardians in relation to bullying in schools, and the youngest victim is a year 3 student who has been subjected to emotional bullying and being constantly ridiculed by fellow students because his father is in prison.

Director, Ashwin Raj says the four complaints range from physical and emotional violence perpetrated by fellow students.

Raj says of equal concern is the circulation of a video documenting a child being subjected to violence by his peers in school that allegedly happened last year.

He says constant circulation of this video on the social media accompanied by comments that glorify violence and subjecting this child to ridicule means that this child who is already a victim of physical and emotional violence continues to be victimized and re-traumatized.

Ashwin Raj questions why would people continue to make fun of such violence and abhorrent behavior that we as society should collectively condemn so that our children are safe in homes and schools.

He says this clearly meets the definition of ‘harm’ in the Online Safety Act of 2018 and the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission calls on relevant authorities to implore on the general public to stop circulating this video because they are dealing with children who are vulnerable and susceptible to violence.

The Commission has also come to learn that while not all incidences involve physical violence, some children are subjected to emotional abuse and violence. Raj says children who have or are undergoing such trauma in their personal lives need support and must feel safe in our schools particularly when they are escaping family violence and schools happen to be their only refuge.

The Commission notes that children come to school as early as 6.15 in the morning.

Raj says it is imperative that some arrangements be made to ensure that children are not left unsupervised at such early hours. In one of the cases, a child was allegedly assaulted at 6.30am.

He says we need to weed out this entrenched culture of violence and bullying which will require a concerted effort between the school system, parents and institutions such as the police and the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission.

Raj stresses that these acts of violence must be reported to the police at the earliest. He says they must also be handled sensitively and consistent with human rights principles given that children are both victims as well as in conflict with the law.

He also says that while the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission as part of its human rights education in schools includes discussions on bullying and corporal punishment, they realize that such conversations are often in isolation often times with students and teachers in schools or with parents during community visits. He says clearly such conversations need to be in the same space with all the stakeholders including our children.


Police recorded statement of witnesses in relation to the student who is alleged to have been assaulted at a prominent school in Suva (Monday 02/03/2020)

By Shanil Singh , Rashika Kumar

Police have recorded the statement of the witnesses in relation to the 14-year-old student who is alleged to have been assaulted by another student at one of the prominent schools in Suva.

Police say they will question the suspect today.

The incident took place at the school last Wednesday where it is alleged that another student cracked the boy’s teeth and seriously injured his tongue.

The matter was reported to the Totogo Police Station.

Meanwhile, Minister for Education Rosy Akbar says there was no case of any student who was brutally assaulted by classmates.

When questioned by Fijivillage, Akbar says they have a report where a child suffered injuries at school and it is currently being investigated by police.


Boarding school assault: A student still in custody and is being questioned by Police (Monday 02/03/2020)

By Vijay Narayan , Semi Turaga


A student is still in custody and being questioned by Police in relation to an alleged violent assault on a student of boarding school in Tailevu which was captured on video. Police officers from Korovou Police Station were at the boarding school last night and recorded the statement of the victim.

Police say the victim has confirmed the alleged incident occurred last year however investigators are looking into other aspects of the incident and whether the matter was reported after it was raised with the school authorities.

Chief of Intelligence and Investigations, ACP Biu Matavou directed an immediate investigation to be done by the Criminal Investigations Department last night after the emergence of the video of a group of students bullying and violently assaulting a student.

The disturbing video which is widely being circulated shows a group of students taunting a student who is in uniform and they are then seen repeatedly hitting him with a piece of timber, punching him up several times and swearing at him in the iTaukei language.

People are calling for immediate action by the authorities.

Many are also alleging that many cases like this continues in some schools including some prominent boarding schools.

ACP Matavou is now awaiting the CID's investigation.

Police are seriously concerned about this incident and the CID team is now working to gather more details about the alleged incident.

Anyone who can help with information regarding this incident is requested to call Crime Stoppers on 919.


Police record statement of the boy who was shown being bullied and violently assaulted in a video (Monday 02/03/2020)

By Vijay Narayan , Semi Turaga


A team from the Korovou Police Station has recorded the statement of the boy from a school in Tailevu who was shown being bullied and violently assaulted in a video while one of the students who was allegedly involved has also been questioned by Police.

Police officers were at the boarding school last night.

Police say the victim has confirmed the alleged incident occurred last year however investigators are looking into other aspects of the incident and whether the matter was reported after it was raised with the school authorities.

Chief of Intelligence and Investigations, ACP Biu Matavou directed an immediate investigation to be done by the Criminal Investigations Department last night after the emergence of the video of a group of students bullying and violently assaulting a student.

The disturbing video which is widely being circulated shows a group of students taunting a student who is in uniform and they are then seen repeatedly hitting him with a piece of timber, punching him up several times and swearing at him in the iTaukei language.

People are calling for immediate action by the authorities.

Many are also alleging that many cases like this continues in some schools including some prominent boarding schools.

ACP Matavou is now awaiting the CID's investigation.

Police are seriously concerned about this incident and the CID team is now working to gather more details about the alleged incident.

Anyone who can help with information regarding this incident is requested to call Crime Stoppers on 919.

e have also sent the video and questions to Minister for Education Rosy Akbar. She is yet to respond.


Police investigate disturbing video showing group of students bullying and violently assaulting a student (Sunday 01/03/2020)

By Vijay Narayan , Semi Turaga


Police Chief of Intelligence and Investigations, ACP Biu Matavou has directed an immediate investigation to be done by the Criminal Investigations Department after the emergence of a video of a group of students bullying and violently assaulting a student.

The disturbing video which is widely being circulated shows a group of students taunting a student who is in uniform and they are then seen repeatedly hitting him with a piece of timber, punching him up several times and swearing at him in the iTaukei language.

People are calling for immediate action by the authorities.

Many are also alleging that many cases like this continues in some schools including some prominent boarding schools.

ACP Matavou is now awaiting the CID's investigation.

A team from the Korovou Police Station is currently at the school and have now identified the student where his statement is being recorded regarding the alleged incident.

Police say the CID was directed to promptly investigate the video of students allegedly bullying and assaulting a fellow student in what looks to be inside a classroom.

Police are seriously concerned about this incident and the CID team is now working to gather more details about the alleged incident.

Anyone who can help with information regarding this incident is requested to call Crime Stoppers on 919.

We have also sent the video and questions to Minister for Education Rosy Akbar. She is yet to respond.

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