A bullying incident involving a group of Primary 5 students picking on a classmate at a primary school in Punggol is “wrong and cannot be tolerated anywhere,” said Education Minister Ong Ye Kung.
The incident, which has gone viral on social media, involves a group of pupils from Mee Toh School who picked on a Malay classmate and wrote her “nasty notes.”
In a Facebook post on Tuesday (10 March), Mr Ong said he was “dismayed and troubled” after finding out about the bullying incident.
This case of bullying in Singapore primary school came to light when a Twitter post about the incident went viral. | Source: Twitter
Bullying in Singapore primary school goes viral
The Education Minister was referring to the case of bullying which was shared by Twitter user @4YSLZ which narrated the primary school student’s horrific experience with bullies at school.
“My heart broke today, it was my sister’s birthday yesterday & one of her classmates threw this to her face as ‘birthday present’,” she noted on a Twitter post which showed photos of handwritten notes contained hurtful and offensive insults such as “you are dumbo the elephant” and “you look so ugly and you really turn me down you make puke.”
The Twitter user, the victim’s sister, also said that it is not the first time the student was bullied, citing that her family also saw the student’s uniform scribbled on with markers. It was also revealed that the student was previously cyberbullied.
The older sibling who took to voice out her concerns, further noted that this could be racially motivated acts of bullying and that there is “only a handful of Malays” in the school and her two siblings who were pupils of the schools were both subject to racist remarks.
She reported to have contacted the school and its teachers, but that nothing had been done.
Education Minister “dismayed” at the case of bullying in Singapore
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung wrote a Facebook post on the matter. Photo: Screengrab from Facebook
Mr Ong said the bullying case goes against some “very fundamental values of what we stand for as a society.”
“It does not matter whether the students might have done it out of mischief or that they are only Primary 5 students; the fact is that the victim felt that it was a racist act, and that makes it even more unacceptable,” Mr Ong added.
He ensured that the students involved would be made to understand the consequences and severity of their actions, and that appropriate disciplinary action would be taken in this matter.
“Our values of kindness, respect for others, cohesiveness as a multi-racial society must be inculcated from a young age, with the collective effort of families, schools and community. This should be a lesson for all students to learn from,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education (MOE), in a statement to the media said they had investigated the incident and found that several students “wrote unkind notes” to the victim. The MOE also said the students involved will be disciplined.
Mee Toh school responds to the case of bullying in Singapore
The primary school in question has also issued a statement noting that the school has met the victim’s mother and has “provided support” to the student.
“The school does not condone bullying of any form, including racist remarks made at any individual, ” Mee Toh School Principal Wang-Tan Sun Sun. She also assured that the school “will follow through with the appropriate disciplinary actions for the students involved.“
Principal Wang-Tan Sun ensured that the school will not put up with any form of bullying, including racist slurs and remarks, pledging that they would “follow through with the appropriate disciplinary actions for the students involved.”
“Character education is cornerstone to holistic education. The school will continue to enable our students to build healthy and respectful peer relationships for their overall emotional and social well-being,” the Principal further noted.