Setting a good example for your children

first_imgDear Editor,The recent act of bullying and utter disrespect of the nine-year-old boy at Mae’s Schools for proudly wearing his Indigenous outfit has left, not only me, but many, absolutely furious. And I cannot begin to imagine the frustration other Indigenous people felt, since the prejudice against them does not seem to be stopping any time soon.There are two issues I want to bring up.Firstly, the bullying. He was bullied by his peers at the tender age of nine. Bullying has existed for a very long time; ask anyone and they’ll tell you “that’s just how children are”, or give the very often useless advice “go and tell an adult; they will handle it”There has been many research into the effects of bullying; one child may be able to withstand it, another may not. Every child is different, and putting bullying aside as no big deal creates two bigger problems:1) It creates more bullies: A bullied child will be too scared to approach their bully/bullies, and because they are too ashamed to admit that they are scared, they keep it bottled up inside them until they eventually find other vulnerable to lash out on and bully; they find a means to let out their frustration. They are children after all; their means may not always be healthy and instead cause more harm. It’s an endless cycle of bullies creating bullies.And adults who are paying attention to this: be careful how you treat others you disagree with or have an issue with. Your children are watching, and they are learning from you.2) It causes emotional scarring. The child may fall into a state of depression (which is NOT the same as feeling sad. There are many stories and researches done on children and teenaged suicides due to depression). They may feel ashamed of themselves, or in this boy’s case, their culture, and not want anything to do with it anymore.So please Guyanese, don’t brush bullying aside. And most importantly, set a good example for your children.Secondly, let’s talk about why this boy was sent home. It was because he had no shirt on, and that was deemed inappropriate. I took a look at some magazines and brochures for tourists to visit Guyana, and splashed across the cover of almost all of them are pictures of boys wearing the outfit this same boy had on. And forgive me if I’m wrong, but it was Culture Day. That means the children were supposed to dress in cultural clothing, not their uniform, and that is exactly what that boy did. His ancestors did not dress like East Indians or Africans, or any of the other four races we have in Guyana.And why was the outfit inappropriate? Because he had no shirt on? He is nine years old. If adults with more mature minds could not stand to see the chest of a nine-year-old boy, is it the boy’s fault or the adults?If you are going to work with children who are years away from puberty, but cannot stand the sight of a shirtless nine-year-old boy, you may be in the wrong profession.Yours sincerely,Arianne Bicklelast_img

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