Over half of UAE parents know their kids were bullied: Poll


bullying, uae schools, dubai schools, awareness, dubai laws

Dubai - Several measures are being taken to raise awareness in 500 schools across the UAE.

By Sarwat Nasir

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Published: Wed 23 Oct 2019, 11:14 PM

Hundreds of parents in the UAE are aware that their children had been bullied in the past, according to a new survey that was conducted to support a campaign to combat the rise of bullying among youngsters in the country. Out of 700 polled, more than half of UAE parents with children aged six to 12 years have said they knew their kids were bullied previously.

The nationwide campaign, called 'CN Buddy Network', has been launched by children's entertainment channel Cartoon Network Middle East and is being run under the slogan 'Be a Buddy, Not a Bully'.

Several measures are being taken to raise awareness against bullying, including holding workshops in 500 schools across the UAE and airing educational videos for an hour daily on the channel.

Child psychologists are carrying out these workshops in partnership with Cartoon Network.

One of the psychologists, Dr Haneen Jarrar, told Khaleej Times: "What I've noticed is that students talk a lot about cyberbullying. When we opened the floor to questions, all of the questions they have are about cyberbullying like 'why do people bully more online' and 'what does it mean when someone comments on your picture?'

"The number one thing I respond with is that you have to be very conscious with your age. The kids that I saw were eight years old and a lot of these platforms are not intended for these children. They're on these different kinds of toys, games and social media, which they're not really allowed to be on."

Dr Jarrar said the same advice goes to parents as well.

"Be very conscious because there is a lot of online grooming and bullying that happens. These children are still not equipped to handle these negative comments," she said.

And if bullying happens to students who are of appropriate age to use these platforms, the expert advised that they should block and report the bully immediately.
Responsibility of parents and schools
Dr Jarrar insisted that when it comes to educating a child against bullying, it's both the parents' and schools' responsibility.

"From the school's perspective, it's important that they highlight these issues and talk about them. From the parent's perspective, they should tighten up the controls and put restrictions and limitations on things within reason, in terms of how accessible these platforms are to kids of age and not of age."

The workshops will continue until December and will target more than 1,000 students.

Pupils will get anti-bullying school kits, which include games and tools to engage them in different activities during workshops,


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