“Ang problema ng bullying ay hindi lang problema ng tao. Problema yan ng buong sistema.”
Dr. Liane Pena Alampay, Director for Research of Fr. Jaime C. Bulatao Center for Psychology Services, Ateneo de Manila University put emphasis on how broad the scope of bullying is. “Bullying is systemic,” she said. It was clearly elaborated that both the cause and the effect of bullying start from an individual’s inner circle towards his/her outer environment. In this sense, one of the highlights of the talk was on how important the roles of the school, its personnel and staff, and the environment itself are when it comes to the well-being of the involved individuals.
The Office of Student Affairs in partnership with the Association of Psychology Students of Ateneo (APSA) spearheaded the Anti-Bullying Seminar titled Forging Armors: Making Bullyproofed Knights for Others on 28 February 2015 at the Arrupe Convention Hall. A total of 326 student leaders, and students of NSTP classes participated in the said event.
The goal of the talk of Dr. Alampay entitled Bullying in Schools: What, Why, and How (to respond) was to spread awareness on the cause and effects of bullying, and how can it be addressed. The talk started by defining what is bullying, and its scope. She also presented the national statistics of bullying which ranges from 35-75% for both the elementary, high school, and college levels. For better understanding of the context of bullying, the forms of bullying were presented as well. For the last part, she discussed about the interventions that can be done with regards to cases or instances of bullying. And this is where the roles of certain offices and individuals inside a school’s premises are much needed.
The talk raised too many questions which were entertained and answered during the Open Forum. A processing session facilitated by Judith Vergel de Dios followed subsequently, eliciting insights that were gained during the whole seminar/workshop. Vergel de Dios further elaborated on what we can do to contribute to the care and well-being of another person, especially those who have been bullied and those who bully. The processing expounded on how the community’s various sectors are going to advocate anti-bullying among groups and peers, discussing about the Atenean value which is the cura personalis or care for others, —the foundational value of the advocacy. And as Dr. Alampay put it, “For this advocacy to work, the entire system must be involved.” And perhaps, conducting activities such as this one is a start for our University to push this advocacy of “Making Bullyproofed Knights for Others.”
By Dianne Ricafranca