Many students support the idea of anti-bullying laws, but have doubts about their effectiveness.
MWYO, a think tank founded by Youth Development Commission vice-chairman Lau Ming-wai, has published a report supporting legislation on bullying, including cyberbullying. It points out that problems including a lack of laws, poor awareness of the issue, and weak enforcement should be tackled as soon as possible.
The report says 32 per cent of 15-year-olds in Hong Kong said they are bullied at least “a few times a month”.
Speaking to Young Post, Rachel Tsang, 16, from International Christian School, said she likes the idea of a new law, but she added that “there’s not much point in enacting laws to prevent bullying, [because] it will happen one way or another … Also, there’s no absolute way to enforce the laws.”
“The most common form of bullying is isolation. It happens everywhere … there’s always that one person who’s excluded from everything and bad-mouthed and hated for no apparent reason,” Rachel said.
A student surnamed Lam, who attends a local school, also felt anti-bullying laws were necessary. However, she said: “There would be lots of problems to work out and I’m not sure how effective anti-bullying laws would be, judging by their counterparts in the workplace, although they are certainly something we can work towards.”
She said the government doesn’t consider bullying a priority, even though they are aware of it. “They are not going to take the bull – or should I say, bullying – by the horns. Which, I dare say, would be reasonable if they were focusing on the current dumpster fire [the city’s political situation] first,” she added.
However, Sha Tin College’s Karina Chan, 15, believes “most witnesses would report bullying even if it isn’t severe”, so “anti-bullying laws aren’t necessary”. But Karina thinks teachers should pay closer attention to what’s going on within the student community to prevent such incidents from happening.