The recent chain of stories which broke from Tung Chi Ying Memorial Secondary School Scandals reminds Hong Kong of its schools’ failure to address schoolyard bullying. Following the two videos released in early 2019 portraying a student being pinned down, stripped, and smothered by multiple others, a 15 year old boy has been arrested from the school yesterday for allegedly groping a female schoolmate in a bullying incident involving 5 other male students.
The Board of Directors responded to the recent incident stating that the school is concerned about the discipline of their students, and they do not tolerate any misbehavior.
In a study by Chinese University, over 70% of secondary school students in Hong Kong have experienced bullying in school. Similar studies performed in regions such as the US have seen the rate being a much lower, albeit unideal 53%. Following the first videos being exposed to the public, the education minister claimed to adopt a zero tolerance approach towards the issue, and mentioned the Education Bureau’s guidelines and training for teachers.
Yet three months later, the public is again reminded of how insufficient the “zero tolerance” approach by the school and, perhaps more importantly, the Education Bureau is by a flow of schoolyard violence that has no signs of slowing down, such as the aforementioned incidents and a fight between students resulting in one of them being morbidly disfigured.
The current measures regarding bullying are clearly insufficient, and though the perpetrators are the students who choose to commit such malicious acts, the adults are clearly responsible for controlling the environment as well, instead of being bystanders, which enables the bullying to happen. Students of the school have been told to stay silent regarding the earlier incident by the school staff, an clearly evasive act which demonstrates no resolve in dealing with the issue as they have told the media.
With Hong Kong’s teens being the third least satisfied in life according to Pisa, there is an urgent need for improved and concrete methods regarding surveillance and management of schoolyard bullying in Hong Kong, seeing as the current methods are lackluster at best, alongside facilities to help students cope with school related dismay in the grander scheme of things