PETALING JAYA: Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik says making schools safe places for students is his priority.
“We will study the suggestion of a law specifically to protect victims and bystanders involved in bullying,” he told The Star.
Dr Maszlee was commenting on a Unicef survey, which revealed that children wanted a national anti-bullying law school policy to help keep them safe.
Dr Maszlee said if such a law would create a safer studying environment, then he was “all for it”.
“However we need to discuss with various agencies and stakeholders as this involves several ministries and government agencies,” he said.
He said the ministry was also carrying out awareness campaigns in schools and held discussions on these from time to time.
“There are also counsellors stationed in schools to talk to both victims and bullies in order to solve the problem,” he added.
National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan said the union was in support of any policy that would protect children from bullying.
However, Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim believed that specific laws were not necessary to protect the victims or bystanders.
“A strong anti-bullying policy is definitely needed,” she added.
Noor Azimah said that SOPs should be put in place so that teachers could effectively follow through when a bullying complaint had been made.
“However, if we have inept or biased teachers in enforcement, it will still not solve the problem. The police too should not get involved unless there is an assault,” she said.
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