Parents can play a pivotal role in assisting the school administrations in preventing bullying, particularly among migrant children, says Narinder Pal Singh, who runs a Punjabi language school in Sydney's Glendenning suburb.
In a community consultation held by Sikh Khalsa Mission and Punjabi School Glendenning, parents of school-going children were invited to discuss their evolving responsibilities towards preventing bullying in schools.
- "School staff and parents should work together to create a school that is free of bullying," says Narinder Pal Singh
- "Language and cultural barriers can pose a more significant challenge for parents whose children may be facing bullying"
Mr Singh, from the Sikh Khalsa Mission, has been running a Punjabi language school in Glendenning, a north-western suburb where 9.5% of the population speaks Punjabi at home, according to the 2016 Census.
He said addressing bullying, and its impact on children, can pose a more significant challenge for migrant parents due to cultural, social and linguistic differences.
"This often creates a huge gap between school-going children and their parents, who sometimes find it difficult to understand the issue and appropriate ways to address them," he said.
Mr Singh said another challenge is that sometimes a child won't discuss being bullied at school with their parents, assuming they wouldn't understand their problem.
"Many times, language and cultural differences can also pose barriers to such conversations. So to fill these gaps, we had organised a joint seminar for parents and children, where we encouraged them to share their experiences.
"We deliberately didn't invite parents and children of the same family so everyone could speak freely. We instead invited youth who have passed out from schools to brainstorm on this pertinent issue," he said.
Mr Singh added that bullying at schools is a "grave issue" that has become more rampant due to COVID-induced restrictions on in-person learning.
Click on the player at the top of the page to listen to this interview in Punjabi.
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