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Malayan High School of Science strengthens commitment against bullying with third anti-bullying seminar

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Malayan High School of Science holds its third anti-bullying seminar to encourage families, students, and school officials to take part in resolving the problem that is widespread among Philippine schools.

Solidifying its commitment to minimize and ultimately end bullying in schools, Malayan High School of Science (MHSS) held its third anti-bullying seminar to encourage families, students, and school officials to take part in resolving the problem that is widespread among Philippine schools.

Titled "Beating Bullying: Empowering the School and the Families in Helping the Bullied and the Bullies," the seminar aimed to increase awareness on bullying – its manifestations, the factors that lead to it, and its impact on the people involved.

Studies show that bullying has become prevalent in schools. A 2011 survey conducted among 1,278 high school students in the metro reveals that 51% were bullied and 32% were highly bullied.

Guest speaker Katrina C. Fernando, assessment psychologist at PsychConsult, Inc., and a De La Salle University professor, says bullying is preventable if the entire community gets involved in addressing it.

Guest speaker Katrina C. Fernando, assessment psychologist at PsychConsult, Inc., and a De La Salle University professor, said that it is important for parents and school officials to identify signs of bullying to help end and prevent it since it can have a huge impact on children's development.

"Bullying has impact on children's socio-emotional development, particularly in the level of self-esteem and sense of security. Moreover, it interferes with students' ability to learn and participate in school activities," she explained.

Similarly, bullying has negative effects on the perpetrator.

"If not prevented, bullies might engage in a risky behavior or misconduct when they reach adulthood, which would have implications on their studies, work, and their relationships. If the families don't deal with bullying appropriately, the bully might take things on his hands," Fernando said.

Fernando stressed that bullying is not a problem between the victim and the bully alone. Rather, it also involves the families, the school, and the witnesses to the act. She added that one way of addressing this is raising people's awareness.

"If the bullies are aware of the repercussions [of their acts], they would have second thoughts. If the victim knows that there is a law against bullying, they would not be afraid to report. If the families and schools know the manifestations of bullying, they could help the children. Bullying is preventable. The community only needs to get involved," she said.

The MHSS administration, likewise, strongly encourages students and parents to be involved in addressing the issue, stressing the importance of keeping the lines of communication open and coordinating and cooperating with the authorities.

"'Beating Bullying' is a demonstration that we are serious in dealing with and minimizing the incidences of bullying in the community, particularly at schools. As a second home, we envision academic institutions to be safe, friendly, and conducive to learning," said Dr. Efren B. Mateo, MHSS principal.

The third installment of the anti-bullying seminar was part of MHSS's Safe School Program, which aims for the creation of a safe learning environment for Filipino high school students through a series of projects and activities.

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