School launches investigation following mum's complaints about son's bullying, claims of unfair punishment

School launches investigation following mum's complaints about son's bullying, claims of unfair punishment
The Secondary 1 student was allegedly "tormented" by three schoolmates since school started this year.
PHOTO: The New Paper File

A secondary school is investigating an incident amongst its students after the mother of one student complained that her son was being bullied.

The angry parent, however, is not satisfied with the punishments doled out to the alleged bullies.

The mother of one, surnamed?Monk,?told AsiaOne that since the first week of school this year, a group of three bullies have been "tormenting" her 12-year-old son.

Amongst other things, the alleged bullies called Monk's son names, spread rumours about him and made lewd remarks to insinuate that he is gay.

Monk declined to reveal her full name.

In a Reddit post made on March 7, Monk wrote that her son was being bullied in his new school in Bukit Panjang.

Physical altercation caught on video

Monk said her?son flung his backpack at one of the bullies on March 4, referred to as R, in retaliation for being called names, which led to him getting beaten up.

This?was caught on camera and the video was seen by teachers and school leaders, she told AsiaOne.?

Monk was subsequently called to the school and brought her?son home as he?had been visibly injured.

Monk said that she noticed her son still had many bruises on his forehead and a large bump on his head?three days after the altercation, so she took?him?to the hospital.

According to Monk, after the medical professionals assessed her son's injuries, she was strongly encouraged to report the incident to the police.

In addition to making a police report, Monk also lodged a complaint with the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the school in mid-March.

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She then requested that R's parents foot her son's hospital bills, but said the latter refused as they insisted her son was also to blame for the altercation.

"It was for the principle of it that I wanted them to pay. For them to understand that they raised him (R) wrong," Monk said.

"I can't even fathom that they are not at all remorseful over what their son did to mine."

When contacted by AsiaOne, the police confirmed a report was lodged and they're?looking into the matter.

An MOE spokesperson said that the incident was reported to the ministry and directed AsiaOne to the school for comment.

Speaking to AsiaOne, Monk said that she was directed by the police and the MOE back to the school's management for further discussion.

One student to be caned, rest counselled

Monk said that the principal and vice-principals of the school met with her?on Wednesday (March 27) and told her that R would be caned as this was "his second fight in the past few months".?

The other students who were involved, including Monk's son, will have to go for detention and counselling sessions to learn not to act rashly.

Monk expressed her unhappiness with this decision as the school categorised the incident as a fight among students instead of a bullying case.

"My son never?called R?names to his face, only behind his back to his own friends. My son never even spoke to the boy," she said.

She was also upset that one of the alleged bullies, a female student who is the cousin of R, "got away with a slap on the wrist" despite being the "main instigator" in the situation.

She added?that her son, however, felt that the school was "mostly fair" in handling this incident.

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Some Redditors, however, agreed with the school's actions.

One such netizen said: "If you think what he (Monk's son) did was right — to repeat the same [hurtful words and actions] back to those children — there would be no end to this. It's just going to keep building up and eventually lead to a fight."

"The school has investigated and acted, and it appears to be not serious enough to warrant a police intervention. Children fight and bully one another regularly. If you are worried, transfer him to another school," said another Redditor.

Responding to AsiaOne's queries, the school's principal?said that they are?aware of the incident, have counselled all the students involved and will carry out the necessary disciplinary actions.

ALSO READ: 9 steps to help your child deal with bullies

bhavya.rawat@asiaone.com

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