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Bullying: Comments From Around the World

Boys leaving a school in Tokyo in a 2007 photo
Boys leaving a school in Tokyo in a 2007 photo

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This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

Last week's report on bullying brought so many comments online, we are going to take this time to share some.

One person, who gave no name or country, described an experience with a Parent Teacher Association:

I have been a victim of bullying in a PTA group. It is not just a problem for teenagers. Adults also engage in bullying activities but it is usually verbal abuse by spreading lies to ruin your reputation or isolate the victim from the rest of the group. Since we are the role model of the next generation, our behavior will shape the future society.

Vicky in Taiwan still remembers being scared by bullies in junior high school. And Jung Kim wrote: Even we Koreans are made fun of by our own. If you're not cool with the popular people you will be laughed at.

Jeanne from Brazil says children should be taught to respect differences. And Kelly in the United States suggested that parents should spend more time with their children: If they are taught to be considerate when they are very young, they will not treat other people in a mean way.

Joruji in Japan called for improving communication among students, parents and teachers. Farshad, an Iranian in the United States, and Selim from France both suggested using psychologists in school to help control the problem.

Some people complained that bullying is not always taken seriously. Commenter phantuanduong in Vietnam wrote:

We as parents and teachers should let children understand that they will be punished if they do wrong, and the punishments won't be only reminders or warnings.

But not everyone agreed.

Denysenko in Ukraine says what we call bullying is a part of the socialization process:

Children need to know how to defend oneself, how to establish relationships in a group. If laws or teachers or police will protect a child against "bullying," he or she will never become an independent person.

And several of you expressed sadness at the case of fifteen-year-old Phoebe Prince. Bullying may have led to her suicide. Moneem Alhasee from Libya wrote:

I'm really astonished how such a beautiful nice girl can do such a thing. She made a mistake when she listened to those who criticized her. They were jealous of her. God bless you, Phoebe Prince.

You can find last week's report at You can also add your own comments on our website or on Facebook at VOA Learning English. Next week, learn about a new study of bullies.

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. I'm Steve Ember.