Thursday, December 29, 2016


Wherever you may be in the world, if there’s one social conflict that never goes out of style at all it’s the nigh-customary practice of those with some sort of power or other putting down those who’re weaker than they are, be it verbally or through brutal physicality. Bully at its worse is a nuisance on interpersonal relationships, and the most telling damage it does is often at school, where a formative and educational environment for students can be turned into a nightmare by opportunistic individuals on a power trip over the rest of their fellows. It’s somehow no surprise then that some very extreme cases of bullying have been documented in China.

BBC has it that in light of a slew of incidents involving bullies in Chinese schools, the parents of bullying victims are starting to take action in resolving these situations themselves. Already one mother of a 10-year- old student from Beijing is taking on her son’s struggles by posting a moving account of his experiences on local messaging app WeChat. She wrote of how her child was bullied by his peers at Beijing’s well-known Zhongguancun Second Primary School for a year, ultimately being withdrawn from school after suffering a psychological stress disorder from having poo and garbage thrown at him in a final hazing. What’s worse, the school had rebuffed the boy and his mother’s complaints.

The parent’s WeChat post became trending on Chinese social media, gathering statements of support and righteous indignation on behalf of the mother and her son’s plight. Ultimately Zhongguancun made a public statement disputing their testimony, claiming that the student’s misfortune at the hands of his schoolmates didn’t constitute actual bullying. A lot of good it did them due to the tide of sympathy and support from even the state-controlled media.

This method of shaming schoolyard bullies and uncooperative schools on social media has become an effective tool in the arsenal of Chinese parents with children who’re victims of this predicament. And Chinese-style bullying is on a class of its own, with accounts of a schoolboy from Guangdong Province who was beaten up by a school gang for refusing to pay them “protection money”, a girl who was stripped nude by her classmates, and even young children who get wailed on by bullies armed with steel pipes.

The Guangdong incident was recorded and uploaded, causing a storm of public outrage that had officials of the school in Shenzen scrambling to mediate, resulting in monetary compensation of the victim from the families of his bullies. This and social media shaming are shaping up to be a bully- victim’s parents’ preferred means of resolving such problems, due to the effects being felt in days or weeks rather than the tediously long wait of filing formal criminal charges in Chinese courts.

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