Bullying is a serious problem, no matter which country you live in. That’s where a programme called KiVa comes in. It’s an anti-bullying programme from Finland, and it seems to really work. Ninety-eight per cent of students said they felt that their situation had improved thanks to KiVa.
The main aim of the programme is to stop bullying before it happens.
KiVa also has clear guidelines to tackle bullying when it does take place.
Schools in Hong Kong could use KiVa to help students understand bullying and how to tackle it.
Felice Tang Ching-man, The Chinese Foundation School
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter, Felice. Bullying is a horrible fact of many people’s lives. Some people bully because they do not have very happy home lives, and think that being cruel is normal. Some people bully because picking on someone else makes them feel better about themselves.
Many bullies, especially children, don’t realise their behaviour is wrong. They probably don’t have a good support network, so haven’t learned kindness and respect.
The KiVa programme has proved very effective in several countries in Europe.
But it’s unlikely that Hong Kong teachers would have time to add KiVa to the timetable. If your teachers don’t have enough time to discuss such issues in detail, it’s good to have some idea of how to deal with bullying.
If you are being bullied but you don’t feel too scared, just walk away. Most bullies lose interest if you don’t react to them. If you feel unsafe, though, tell someone. Either tell a friend, and hang out with them – bullies rarely bully a group – or tell an adult. You may be scared that the bully will be even meaner, but an adult will be able to protect you.
If you see someone being bullied, don’t just watch. Invite the victim to hang out with you, and if they are scared to tell an adult, go with them. Be a friend, and be part of the solution.
And if you have ever spread rumours about another student, called them mean names, made fun of the way they look or speak, or frequently physically hurt someone, you might be a bully.
It’s not too late to change your ways, though. Think about how you would feel in your victim’s shoes. Realise how bad that would feel, and make a change. Talk to an adult you trust, and be honest about what you’ve done. With support, you will learn kindness and respect, and realise that bullying achieves nothing.
Karly Cox, Deputy Editor