PETALING JAYA: She used to be outspoken, trusting and amicable. Now, the eight-year-old, a victim of bullying, is withdrawn, angry and afraid to go to school.
Her mother, who only wanted to be identified as Madam Koh, said the Year Two pupil at a vernacular school has been traumatised by a schoolmate.
She alleged that since January, the eight-year-old boy has been harassing her daughter, even colluding with his friends to hurt the girl.
Relating her daughter’s ordeal, at a press conference, a teary-eyed Koh said the bully also molested the girl. She claimed that he touched her buttocks on Jan 25 and again on March 10.
“On July 13, together with three other boys, they tried to grope my daughter’s chest. If all these acts are not sexual molestation, I don’t know what is,” she said.
The most recent incident was on Aug 8 when the boy struck her daughter’s head.
“She’s still using an ice pack because it’s painful. My daughter is seeing a psychiatrist now. She’s afraid of going to school for fear of being bullied again,” Koh said.
Urging the Education Ministry to step in, she said the school failed to deal with the matter.
She claimed the school head treated it lightly, instead advising her daughter to forgive the boy.
“He was suspended for three days and has been warned to stay away from my daughter, he should have been transferred to another school,” Koh said.
Complaints have been lodged with the school and the Education Ministry. She also filed a police report on July 19.
“My daughter is the victim. What message am I sending if I take her out from that school?”
Educationist group Jiazhong’s adviser Edward Neoh said there have been “quite a number” of similar complaints lately.
“The schools involved are sweeping them under the carpet, until bullying has become a norm.
“If we don’t speak up, schools won’t be safe for kids,” Neoh said.
He said there were enough laws to tackle such incidents but the problem was lack of enforcement.
Jiazhong chairman Ronnie Wong said headmasters must act instead of labelling parents who complain as troublemakers.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon has instructed the district education office and state education department to investigate. He said action would be taken based on the findings.