A distraught mother who says her two daughters are being bullied in school is calling on authorities to do more to address the worrisome trend.
The woman, who spoke to Barbados TODAY on condition of anonymity to protect the identities of her children, said she felt as though the issue of bullying was being swept under the carpet.
She revealed that her older daughter, who attends a secondary school in the north of the island, was recently bullied by four boys while at school.
The parent said during that incident, the first-former was cuffed and choked by one of the boys.
“Since she has gone to school she has had to be dealing with bullying. On the first occasion, it was four boys and the parents were brought in for two of the boys…. One of the boys cuffed her and when she asked him why he hit her, he choked her out,” the upset mother said.
“One of those boys was sent home, he came back to school and was sent home again, came back to school and was sent to GIS [Government Industrial School]. He came back to school last week or week before and he is back home again.”
She explained that the ordeal had seriously affected her daughter to the point where she did not want to attend school anymore.
The mother said the child’s father had suggested that she be transferred to a private school, as he felt there was less likelihood of a similar incident occurring.
“The whole situation was really stressful and my daughter told me she is afraid to go to school because the boy would be at school doing cuffing motions at her and telling her that he would do this and do that,” she said.
“It was traumatic for her and then as a parent, it gets overwhelming when you have to go to the school to speak to the principal.”
She explained that her younger daughter who attends a St Michael primary school was also a victim of bullying.
The mother said she had spoken to the principal but had received no redress.
She said she had since escalated her concerns to the Ministry of Education.
“We have to find a way to deal with this bullying issue because it is very serious. Psychologically it affects our children, it also affects the parent and it seems to be getting way out of hand,” the woman said.
“You can see the anger in the young people. I know COVID came and a lot of parents are not working and some of the children may be feeling the effects of that and a lot of things may be affecting their family, but we need to find a way to address this situation.”