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MOE takes steps to address campus bullying concerns

Reporter Jamie Lin Pinzon
Release time:2023/09/22 11:55
Last update time:2023/09/22 11:55
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TAIPEI (TVBS News) — Taiwan's Ministry of Education (MOE) unveiled on Aug. 17 the draft to amend the "Regulations Governing Prevention and Control of Bullying on Campus" to establish more effective investigation procedures, as bullying on campuses is rising and legislators are questioning the effectiveness of current regulations and investigation processes.

The proposed amendments include:

 
- Separating the "teacher-to-student" and "student-to-student" bullying investigation and handling procedures.
- Deemphasizing "persistence" when it comes to student-to-student bullying.
- Applying the regulations to investigate and treat serious physical violence or cyber aggression.

The regulations define bullying as persistent, intentionally demeaning, exclusionary mistreatment, harassment, or teasing of another person by an individual or a group. This can be done directly or indirectly through words, writing, pictures, symbols, physical actions, electronic communications, the internet, or other means. 

 
Such behavior creates a hostile or unfriendly environment, causes mental, physical, or emotional damage, or interferes with normal learning activities.

The MOE categorizes bullying into five categories: verbal, physical, social, defensive, and cyberbullying. According to MOE's data, campus bullying cases in Taiwan are rising. In 2018, there were 562 reported cases, and by 2022, the number had increased to 1,942.

However, the confirmed cases dropped from 30 percent in 2018 to 12 percent in 2022. Moreover, the established cases of teacher-to-student bullying are only under 10 percent, according to Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chang Liao Wan-chien, who argued that unaddressed bullying incidents could lead to tragedies.

Kuomintang Legislator Cheng Li-wun has also questioned whether schools are too strict in recognizing bullying or whether the definition of bullying is too narrow, resulting in most bullying cases being dismissed.

The MOE hopes that the new amendments can ensure major "student-to-student" bullying can be appropriately dealt with because, in the past, "student-to-student" bullying was quickly dismissed by schools, saying that it was not persistent or a one-time conflict.

The proposed draft also added that behaviors such as severe physical violence or cyber-aggression, etc., that exceed the tolerance level of the general society and cause a physical and psychological infringement on other people are subject to the "Regulations Governing Prevention and Control of Bullying on Campus."

As for the investigation process, the MOE pointed out that the draft amendment specifies that the acceptance, investigation, and review stages are handled by an examination, investigation, and prevention teams, respectively.

 
When the investigation team carries out the investigation, the school should also audio or video record the whole process; perpetrators should be present in person, and students should be interviewed privately.

Taiwan Affairs

#Taiwan#bullying#Ministry of Education#campus bullying#bullying prevention

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