Wed, Nov 25, 2009
The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network
Marlin Angraini, the mother of a victim in a recent case of school bullying, said she still worries about her son's mental state despite having moved him to another school.
"I have requested teachers and security officers *at the new school* to watch my son closely," the 53-year-old single mother told The Jakarta Post Monday.
"I'm very afraid the *bullying* incident will haunt him for the rest of his life. He told me recently that he often feels insecure and inferior."
The mother of two said the parents of the children who allegedly attacked her son had called her a few times, asking for her forgiveness and inviting her to settle the problem amicably.
She, however, has not yet met any of them. "I don't think my children or I are ready to meet them," she said.
Earlier this month, Marlin's son, Ade Fauzan Mahfuza, a freshman in SMA 82 State High School, had to be taken to Pertamina Hospital, South Jakarta, after dozens of seniors attacked him for crossing a "restricted" hallway in front of a classroom for 12th graders.
According to Ade, he went down the corridor early in the morning to pick up a book he left in a classroom where he had taken a mid-term exam the day before. After school finished, a dozen seniors waited out front of the school for Ade, where they beat him until he lost consciousness.
SMA 82 is one of the best schools in South Jakarta.
Ade had to have six stitches in his mouth and sustained injuries to his head and arms, leading his mother to report the case to Kebayoran Baru Police.
The police, however, seemed to be reluctant to follow up Marlin's report, saying they would let the school's internal management resolve the case.
"Bullying? What bullying? We're no longer handling that case here." Kebayoran Baru Police subprecinct head Comr. Suhandana Cakrawijaya said.
After the incident, Marlin chose to move Ade to Madrasah Pembangunan Islamic High School in Ciputat, Tangerang.
Meanwhile, SMA 82 announced they had suspended 11 seniors until next month for their alleged involvement in the case. Three others, who had allegedly plotted the attack, were asked to find a new school.
"They have to sit the national examination in a few months. So, letting them resign voluntarily will help them get a new school easier," vice principal M. Endang Supardi said.
Some parties said soft punishments would not prevent more violence involving students from occurring.
The National Commission for Child Protection chairman Seto Mulyadi said his commission is currently working to mediate a meeting between Marlin and parents of the suspended students to find a win-win settlement for all parties.
"We hope to hold the first meeting on Wednesday," he said.
Bullying and violence in school has become a major problem in Indonesia, particularly in big cities like Jakarta, where many schools have a strong tradition of bullying.
Last year, the commission received 86 reports of bullying in schools, a significant drop from the 555 reports received in 2007.
As of November this year, the commission had received 382 reported cases of bullying at schools.