Red line on bullying of cops' kids

Local | Wallis Wang 22 Oct 2020

The Education Bureau has received 25 cases of police officers' children being bullied at school, Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said.

Counseling has been offered to these children, and disciplinary action was taken against the teachers and students involved, Yeung said, stressing any act of bullying is "totally unacceptable."

In reply to lawmaker Kwok Wai-keung's question at yesterday's Legislative Council meeting, Yeung said the bureau has received 25 cases of police officers' children being bullied between last June and early this month.

Yeung said schools have provided emotional support and added that students can seek help from social workers and psychologists if necessary.

He also said a reporting mechanism has been set up with the police. Once police are notified of a bullying incident, the bureau will also be notified to follow up on the case.

"The bureau has been adopting a zero tolerance policy on any act of discrimination, bullying and violence in schools," he said.

"No one should treat others with hostility, bullying or violence because of differences in stance, political view or family occupation and background," he added.

Yeung emphasized that teachers should never perform any acts of bullying toward students and that in such cases, the bureau could cancel their teacher registration.

"The bureau will seriously follow up and issue an advisory, warning or reprimand letter taking into consideration the gravity of each substantiated case, and will even consider canceling the registration of the teacher concerned," he said.

He also appealed to schools to monitor teachers and take the initiative to follow up on cases of misconduct involving staff.

But Yeung pointed out if a case only involves bullying among students, schools should give the bullies a second chance.

He explained that bullying among students usually happens because they do not know how to express their opinions appropriately and that the bullies should get an opportunity to learn.

"Schools should help them understand the mistake they have committed and the moral values involved in accordance with the guidelines on disciplinary procedures and school rules," Yeung said.

He also suggested schools work with parents to help them rectify their misbehavior. Counseling should also be provided to bullies and they could be referred to professional services outside school.

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