It could be your child next, stand up against bullying: Akbar rallies parents

Fiji’s Minister for Education Rosy Akbar said parents must speak up against bullying in any form, rallying their support against such behaviour.

Referring to a recent cyberbullying incident where a head boy of a school in Lautoka was vilified online for observing religious practice, Akbar appealed with parents to imagine if the same treatment was meted out to their child, urging them to “rise up, condemn them.”

“If you come across people who are trying to encourage bullying online, rise up and condemn it. It could be your child tomorrow or my child tomorrow. Imagine the picture of your child put up somewhere and hundreds of people who do not even know you, and don’t even know the fact go ahead and vilify your child. Imagine if that kid ended up doing something. They are very sensitive. As adults, I ask you to please condemn these acts.”

Minister for Education Rosy Akbar

Akbar had issued a statement in light of the online attack against the Lautoka high school student, describing it as one of “a nasty pre-election tradition of pitting Fijians against Fijians.”

She also called on parents to inculcate values of love and tolerance at home and ensure that their children understand that Fiji being a multicultural country means differences will exist, which must be respected and appreciated.

“Whatever you seed you put into the minds of these young people, they will grow with that. Never teach them hatred for anybody elese. Always teach them love and tolerance for somebody who may not be like them. In the next 10 to 15 years, we will have this generation of people that will take our country forward. You and I will go, but we will still need good leaders and good citizens in the form of these young people that we are educating to lead the country forward.”

It’s a partnership, Akbar told teachers and parents, urging them to work together reminding that children are supposed to be nurtured, mentored, loved and cared for.

 Akbar went on to badge all 91 leaders of Deenbandhoo School today. The event was held at the Jai Narayan College school hall.

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