Last month, a long-awaited Chinese youth drama Better Days hit cinemas across China. The film tells a story about how the two teenagers Nian and Bei’s fates were changed by a school bullying incident. Nian, a high school student single-mindedly preparing for the college entrance examination, fell victim to brutal school bullying and has since then got into big trouble. Fate brought her together with a punk Bei who promised to protect her. But unfortunately, the two were then embroiled in a murder investigation which drastically changed their life.
This film has not only won a huge box office success since its debut, but also brought the issue of school bullying to the public’s attention. School violence and bullying are major problems worldwide. According to a report published by UNESCO earlier this year, almost one in three students has been bullied by their peers at school at least once in the past month before the release of the report.
Violence and bullying can leave a lasting scar on the victims and have a profound negative impact on their daily life, mental health and academic performance. Students who are frequently bullied may feel it difficult to trust in people around them and build friendly relationships with others. As a result, they are more likely to feel like an outsider at school and thus become isolated and depressed. Haunted by the bullying experience, students may suffer nightmares and be distracted in class. In worse case scenarios, they may play truant, drop out of school or even contemplate suicide. According to a study, many victims still live under the shadow of bullying in their childhood after they grow up. The study suggests that the victims of bullying who are described as “low in self-esteem and unpopular with peers” are more likely to smoke regularly, suffer from alcohol or drug abuse, or develop a psychiatric disorder after growing into adults.
To protect juveniles from school violence and bullying, parents, schools and governments should make joint efforts. Many young bullies are unaware of the devastating consequences of their manipulative and aggressive behaviors because their parents and teachers fail to discipline them and teach them to distinguish between right and wrong. At the same time, some bullies may be victims of certain emotional problems themselves because of their violent or neglectful parents. Therefore, parents and teachers should shoulder responsibility to teach children moral values and empathy as their role models and pay more attention to children’s psychological well-being. Besides, legislation should be in place to safeguard children’s rights and prevent juvenile delinquency. On October 26, a revised draft law on the protection of minors required schools to establish effective mechanisms to prevent school bullying and listed some specific measures to deal with this problem.
No child is born to be a vicious bully and no child should be left under the shadow of violence. With the intervention of families, schools and governments, we are sure to put an end to school violence and bullying and promise every child a better day.
single-minded adj. 一心一意的，专心致志的
embroil v. 使卷入，使陷入
(embroil sb. in sth.)
manipulative adj. 摆布他人的
juvenile delinquency 青少年犯罪
minor n. 未成年人