I was not wounded nor injured but I almost died.
An eight grader of Tungawan National High School in Zamboanga, Sibugay commited suicide. An 18- year old sophomore student of DLS-CSB, Guillo Servando died from alleged hazing. These bullying menaces could have happened to me.
It is the teachers who need to reinforce positive virtues that enable children strengthen the concept of a child-friendly, gender, biased, sensitive, and bullying and bullying-free community.
I consider myself as a proud victim of bullying. I can still recall how I cried when my cousins taunted me “baboy” and branded me “negra” because of my short curly hairs, flat nose, thick lips and black complexion. I will always remember how my teacher called me “bobo” when I failed to memorize the Multiplication Table.
Eventually in my high school days, I got immune of these tags, scoffs, and mocks. I remained silent when some of my teachers selectively picked the top students for a quiz bee or academic contest. I opted to smile when some of my mentors noticed my grammar flaws, problem solving waterloos, and physical imperfections in front of the class. I almost came to the point that I wanted to stay more at home rather than tasting the threat of bullying.
With the birth of R.A. 10627 or Anti-Bullying Act of 2013, I felt relieved. At least for now, I am assured that I will never hear or watch reports of teenage jailed in their dark rooms, sobbing, gasping and hanging.
Somehow, schools nationwide are now empowered to combat bullying and are given a clear picture on how to curb the early onset of the culture of violence among children. Those who are bullied now have a weapon to lean on and antidote to at least cure the scars of the past.
However, the real antidote is not merely the bill itself. It is the community, itself. The framework of a strong mechanism still lies on the parents who have direct and immediate supervision to their children.
Bullying once infected me and a number of Filipino children. It will be always a virus, ready to rapidly infect the school and the community. It will soon be epidemic not unless we start the bullying saga within ourselves and continue doing our shares to clog the bugs and worms of bullying.