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New rules to slap down school bullying

chinadaily.com.cn/Xinhua | Updated: 2016-10-14 14:57
New rules to slap down school bullying

A number of girls beat and kick a fellow female student who kneels down on the ground in Yongxin county, Jiangxi province. [Photo/ Weibo]

China will roll out new guidelines to prevent bullying and violence in middle and primary schools before the end of November, according to the Ministry of Education.

The ministry and seven other government agencies are drafting the guidelines, Shen Xiaoming, the Ministry's deputy Party secretary, said recently at a national conference on social safety.

According to Shen, authorities will also hold regions and schools responsible if they found to have serious bullying problems.

He said the Ministry launched a campaign in April to curb bullying across the country. Four-level examinations were set up, from schools' self-examination to provincial inspection. By the end of the year, the effectiveness of the campaign will be evaluated by inspectors and experts.

He also said an early warning system and after-incident intervention system would be built in all schools. A system of recording major bullying incidents will be set up, while a specially-assigned person will manage, investigate, coordinate and deal with bully incidents in each region, predict the behavior of key student groups and levy educational punishment to responsible persons of slight bullying incidents.

The government has always been concerned about students' safety and the issue of school bullying. Earlier in June, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang penned a letter on how to best address campus violence.

In the letter, Li asked the Ministry of Education and other related authorities to "improve laws and regulations, strengthen students' awareness of laws and rights, and resolutely put an end to behavior that disregards human dignity and lives."

In early May, the education supervision committee, under the State Council, launched a campaign to tackle the problem by providing students with legal and mental health education.

Police and judicial staff are invited to schools to give lectures, and education institutions are asked to improve measures for preventing and handling bullying, and to establish an emergency plan for serious incidents.

According to data from the Ministry of Education, there were 68 bully incidents between May and August this year, and those mainly responsible have all been dealt with.

Bullying and violence in schools and colleges have been widely reported in recent years. In late June, a viral five-minute video showed a school girl being repeatedly slapped and beaten by a group of girls in Yongxin county, Jiangxi province.

In June 2014, another online video showed several teenagers in eastern Zhejiang province burning a first-grade boy with cigarettes.

Last year, a junior-high student jumped from the fourth floor of a school building as he "just could not tolerate being bullied everyday for any longer".

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