Bullying is not something that comes out of the blue rather is a practice bred through family cultures, said eminent psychologist Professor Mehtab Khanam at BRAC University’s (BRACU) Savar campus on Saturday, 20 October 2018.
Parents do not encourage children to ask questions, rather they instil the belief that they are always right since they are older while children are wrong for their lack of experience, she said.
As a result, when these children grow up, they bully others to draw attention and feel valued, she said, adding that though change was difficult, people should do so in their thoughts while students speak up when they see bullying.
Khanam, advisor of BRACU Counseling Unit, was addressing an Anti-Bullying Awareness Campaign bearing the theme “Respecting Each Other for Who We Are”. The event was organised as part of Fall 2019 Residential Semester by the Counseling Unit and the Office of Co-Curricular Activities.
The main objectives were to educate students on the psychology of bullies, bystanders and victims, to create empathy and compassion among students, faculty members and staff and to spread awareness on the impact of bullying.
The daylong campaign started with a video presentation containing messages from Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG, founder and chairperson of BRAC and chairperson of BRACU Board of Trustees; BRACU Board of Trustees members Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman PhD of the University of Dhaka and Rokia Afzal Rahman and other personalities.
Later there was a panel discussion among experts from which students were informed of present trends in bullying and how to deal with those. Students shared their personal experiences and thoughts regarding bullying as well.
Department of Architecture Chairperson Professor Zainab Faruqui Ali, PhD gave a presentation which included voluntary social welfare activities through which the department’s students discouraged people from engaging in bullying.
Campus Superintendent Rehan Ahmed shared his personal experience of being bullied at school. He suggested students rather empathise to prevent people from getting hurt. Dr Nishat F Rahman of the BRAC Institute of Educational Development and psychiatrist Dr Helal Uddin Ahmed also spoke.
There was an art exhibition of children of local schools and the event ended with a cultural program where BRAC University Cultural Club and BRAC University Drama and Theatre Forum rendered performances.