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HELP ME…I AM THE TARGET OF THE SCHOOL BULLY!!

Dear TUKUKA,

I am in my second year of high school but things are not going as well as I imagined. I am getting bullied by a girl in my school. She insults and humiliates me with every opportunity she gets and this makes me very uncomfortable. I have tried doing the same to her but it did not work out well for me, mostly because she is bigger and louder than the rest of us. Last week she pushed my head against the dormitory wall, simply because she yelled my name and I did not respond fast enough for her. She does these things in front of everybody and she seems to have a lot of support because she is popular. I am afraid of telling anyone, not even my parents because I fear things might get worse for me. I hate being the target of a bully. What can I do to end this?

May, 16

Dear May, I empathise with you for what you are going through while at school. Bullying has become a societal problem especially, within our Kenyan schools. Just like you, many victims of bullying do not report their ordeal due to fear and embarrassment. The law requires that you are protected from harm including, bullying. Under the law, you are also entitled to a free and secure environment to safe guard your physical and mental health.

It is therefore the responsibility of the government, your school and your family to ensure that you are enjoying these rights. In a school environment, bullying ought to be addressed as soon as it discovered to ensure that the other children are afforded a safe learning environment as required by the laws. Consequently, acts of assault such as the one you encountered when you were pushed against the dormitory wall, could lead to the imprisonment of the offending party for a term of 5 years.

I understand that you may be scared, but you need to bring the bullying to the attention of the adults for your safety, and that of the other students. Reporting will also ensure the causes of bullying in your school are addressed and that bullies are dealt with accordingly.

Yours,

Cynthia Njeri

Lawyer and Child Rights Activist

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