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Strict anti-bullying guidelines needed

Reporter: Grace Shao 丨 CCTV.com

12-12-2016 03:53 BJT

Many cases of child abuse in China's schools -- both by teachers and students -- have come to our attention in recent months. Just this week, two females teachers began a trial in Inner Mongolia for physically abusing a young boy in their care. In response to the growing number, the Ministry of Education and other related departments announced an official brief to deal with school bullying and violence in elementary and high schools. But as a highly-publicized case in the Chinese capital has shown, how to properly handle these cases is still a very grey area. 

An elementary school student claims he was physically assaulted and covered in faces and trash in one of his school's toilets.

His parents said the school simply brushed it off as a school-yard prank.

His mother then published a letter online demanding an apology from the alleged bullies, their parents and the school for allowing such a thing to happen.

It's just another case which is difficult to resolve because of the lack of definitive guidelines to address child abuse and school bullying.

However, Dong Lihua, the head of China Child -- an organization that provides legal help for youths in Beijing -- says the government is now trying to deal with it.

"I agree with the new framework. First and foremost it focuses on prevention. It emphasizes on the morals, laws and psychological consequences behind campus bullying. It helps children realize, that by bullying, you are hurting others. And it helps the victims to understand that they can report such incidents," said Dong Lihua.

The incident drew a lot of online comment and opinion.

Some blamed the teachers for neglecting the student and disregarding the actual consequences and severity of the bullies' actions. Therefore perpetuating a vicious cycle. 

Many mothers sided with the victim's mother, and questioned the municipal authorities for not showing any remorse, or intervening in the investigation.

Others said the child should have simply been braver and stood up for himself, and blamed his mother for her ineffective parenting in this regard.

"Of course, parents are responsible for a child's action, but more importantly, campus bullying also reflects on teachers. And most definitely the responsibility of the principal," said Dong Lihua.

After much online discussion, there now seems to be a wave of finger-pointing at the victim's mother, who many believe to be arrogant and stubborn, and is deliberately dramatising the whole episode.

Under the spotlight, the elementary school decided to release a statement. It said they are trying to objectively evaluate and resolve the problem, and asked the media and public to give the whole episode the respect it deserves.

The case highlights the importance of strict guidelines to regulate incidents like this.

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