LINDA HO: Please go ahead and share this story around. The world needs to know that bullying is a serious issue that causes depression and even parents losing their child towards it. Any form of bullying should not be taken lightly especially from a authoritative figure. A child can never “beef up” from it nor benefit from it. Not all bullies will back away from after a fight. In fact it only make things worst.
I was a little girl who was naive and strong willed. I was not willing to be bullied especially after changing my primary school. I used to study in a all girls primary school and i was well loved by my friends with remarks like she is too talkative etc. At my 2nd primary school i couldnt fit in as a new girl in class and after a few months or a year i had 1 or 2 good friends and a best friend name wilson who was always there for me encouraging me which i was very grateful for.
Even though we separated class, we talked and met at recess often.and there was a another school transfer friends thus i managed to have 1 or 2 friend.But it doesnt make much of a difference as i was still a target for bullies, to join their clique i have to endure their pinching and slapping without telling teacher which i refuses to ! I dont see why i must put up with the abuse just because of god knows why the leader of the clique dislikes me.It doesn’t help either than I am a ugly duckling throughout my schooling life.(Few years later she apologized to me when she added me at friendster)
As a new student in the class initially they also throw my stuff in trash, i would have things missing etc. It wasn’t very pleasant but i could put up with it. And when it comes to partner. Im always the remainder without a partner, whoever who partner me would moan and be disgusted with me. I was very strong and had no depression at that time so i could not be bothered and i am fine being alone but i thought that maybe its because im too strong willed , so people are deterred from me. When the time comes to go secondary, i chose to go normal academic to a all girls school, st theresa convent, instead of express at a mix school because i had a great time at kellock and the teachers were very nice plus caring. So naively i thought it would be around the same as i could meet up with old friends whom i kept in contact there. I would also start a new being quiet just to finish my studies and do my best!
But i was wrong. It was only a start of a nightmare.
Initially when i entered the school, i was thrilled to be “back” with my old friends at kellock. I also kept myself quiet in class so that i could get friends at that age. As I thought the issue was that I was too strong intimidating them. I dont know how or what started it. But the girls have their own cliques again, and im left alone. The bullying start. The emotional pressure, the spiteful words that came from their mouth. Being ostracized from every single event, group, and even partner. I was always alone for recess , people looking at me like a alien during recess was another factor of hurt.
I didn’t felt all these before maybe because i wasnt so conscious as i wanted to start anew and i had at least 2 close friends.
When i couldnt go to school, i dont even have a single person to ask homework from. And being scolded by teachers not doing home work while on MC. I still deeply remembered a teacher asking me, dont you have anyone to ask homework from while I could only lower my head and shake. I couldnt even look into her eyes, because i felt so hurt. It also doesn’t help that i was a sickly child. My MC rate was very frequent.
And my form teacher(Mrs Chan) , instead of encouraging me, she poured cold water on me. I do not remember when i was referred to a counselor. But i can honestly say that it doesnt help at all because the help should come from the teachers, who didnt bat a eyelid even when they know of my circumstances of being ostracized at class. And instead of helping me to get the classmates to accept me, she had to say mean things in front of them , indirectly giving them a “go ahead” to be mean to me.And as she disliked me (i could feel it), she sided with them alot indirectly. It was also a norm for people to moan being partner with me or in their group.
I was seen as a problematic child in class.
I had mean words coming from classmates daily especially from a few girls, one of which who told me “wow you are finally in school today”, I even had my items thrown away, missing items and all of which i suffered in silence.i still deeply remembered i was throw in the main bullying girl group. She asked me to prepared the materials for her but she did not use it in the end of the presentation and even back stabbed me by telling teacher i did not do anything when she did not inform me anything else at all. I almost burst crying because i did my part like a dog of what she wanted i give but end up she wanted to affect my marks .
At school only a literature teacher could tell im genuine ill from my face colour. If i remember correctly her name was Mrs Valerie Koh who teaches me Literature. I really appreciate her encouraging words like “your face colour is much healthier today, glad to see you “. She was the only “support” i had in my entire schooling years in St Theresa as well as a home econs teacher.
I know my frequent sickness was a issue but i didnt have a choice not to be sick. My body was weak despite only having minor thelassemia which Ms Chan compared me to a Major Thelassemia girl who is able to make it to school frequently despite needing blood transfer. That comparison doesn’t help at all since its not up to me to decide if i feel well or not and not to mention i was a sickly child since infant.And even now at 26, i sometimes have trouble bringing my child to school as i get sick or unwell in the morning. Things have not changed for me.
I am now a mum of 4, i can safely say that none of my years in school i have taken mc for the sake of being lazy not coming in school and i was genuinely sick. Although i do not deny that the later part i take more MCS due to the bullying by the classmates as i was dreading/afraid to go school. If even my own form teacher, much less other teachers, dont respect me, how do my classmates take me a as human being of equal standing respect me? I had those bullies, came and apologized to me years after seeing me, saying that nothing was wrong with me, they did it for fun.
But that fun ruined my education, my self esteem and even having depression due to it. I often mutilate myself and wear jacket the whole time even when sweating so i wouldnt cause any alarm. As thats how i release the pain i felt at school.
I believe that at that time, there was much much more that the teachers/principal that could do about it. I still remember deeply, Ms Chan saying that i should look into myself and see what is the issue with me that they bully me. The teachers were well aware of my circumstances. Im much older now and i dont see anything wrong with me when the bullies would take initiative to apologize to me. I also remember that i wanted to transfer school but the principal told me, how can you assure that it wont happen in another school? I did not transfer in the end as the other school had no vacancy.
But instead of speaking like this, i believe the principal can take another step further in assisting the me the student to be accepted in their class/school even if the student wants to transfer. It is bad enough that the student does not have the support of the form teacher, but also the principal who did not look into it further on why is there such bullying happening that is so “serious” to the point the child feels vulnerable in the school.
Sad to say that i really feel that the school system needs much improvement for students support. I believe that no ladies should go through what i went through. And this circumstances happening to anyone is preventable as well as its able to be helped. I have also emailed the school my story as i hope this could bring about changes in this school system.
But instead i was brushed off with no reply for around half a month or more till i forward them the email again. I was hesistant in emailing as i wanted to move on and felt that there should be changes made to prevent others from going through what i went thru. Unfortunely stc doesnt seem to feel the same. First reply i got was it was forwarded to their management and they will contact me for more enquiries. I thought that maybe they will carry out more investigations to see what is going on and how it could be prevented. But instead it seems that this is “another email”, as close to 3 months later i asked for a reply. I was given a answer that they have not corresponded with me as they have understood what you have shared in your email and hence did not sought further clarifications from you.
So, i asked them if it would it be too much to ask for if i could be updated on what is done? This may be a old case but it is definitely something that has impacted my life. I really hope something is done on the school part that is just brushed aside as ok noted. They further replied that the school has processes in place for the management of such cases. There are also different channels for the students to communicate their concerns. There was no such channel at all in my case and the teachers also sadly had a part in it. That was also my last email with them since they also didnt think that its a big issue.
And not all those who are bullied are weak. I did stand up for myself and probably made everything worst.neither am i a strawberry who cant take setbacks. But imagine you yourself or your child at only 10 or 11 years old, faced such issue till 15 of almost whole class and at the end even teacher joined in.. would you be able to hold on strong till the end? At a age where growing up , dealing with hormones as well as feelings and self acceptance is very important.
I am slowly walking out of the shadow but i have alot of emotional issues and severe depression as diagnosed to tackle from the prolong emotional hurt i went through.
I felt that it is my duty to share out my story so others that are going through will know that they are not alone in it and they need further help from a authoritative figure to tackle this issue. The case of the Munich mall killer is also the biggest push factor for me to share as I strongly believed if he isn’t pushed to hatred as a child. Hatred wouldn’t exist in his heart.
By sharing my story , you are able to help those circumstance that are like me as they could still have a future.
Help stand up for those in need of help being bullied instead of being a bystander will impact their lives alot. They will be grateful and thankful. They are no different from you and me, we need love as well as support in our life.