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NHRC Condemns Bullying at British int’l School, Seeks Independent Investigation and public Hearing

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The National Human Rights Commission has condemned in strong terms, the disturbing video of the brutal bullying of Namtira Bwala, a female student of Lead British International School, Gwarinpa Abuja who suffered repeated slaps by fellow students over the refusal to answer inappropriate questions from school relationship.

This was part of the release sighed and made available to our correspondent by Obinna Nwakonye Director, Corporate Affairs and External Linkages.

The statement says the alarming incident which has attracted widespread condemnation across the country is a matter of concern that borders on cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, respect for the dignity of the human person as well as learning in a safe and protected environment.

The Executive Secretary, Dr. Tony Ojukwu, while reacting to the ugly incident was shocked by the physical abuse meted out by a student to a fellow student and decried that this shouldn’t have happened in the first place if appropriate measures were put in place for a safe and conducive environment for learning.

He cited Section 34 (1) of the Nigeria Constitution which provides that “every Nigerian individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person and accordingly (a) No person shall be subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

The Chief Human Rights Officer condemned this act and charged school proprietors to put measures in place to prevent re-occurrence of similar situations like this.

He also advised that CCTV cameras should be installed in appropriate places, as well as a whistleblower system to report bullying and inappropriate conduct in schools, while emphasizing that discipline should be strictly maintained to avoid bullying and abuse of such nature.

He further called for thorough investigation to ascertain the root cause of this dastardly act in the name of seniority, he said the protection of students across board by school management should be made paramount to ensure that this never happens again.

The Human Rights Advocate further stated that “bullying has become common in schools and if not checked will discourage some students from attending schools, this may lead to mental health issues, low self-esteem, even suicide as the case may be”. He therefore called for a public hearing into cases of bullying in schools with a view to dealing holistically with this menace and proffering solutions to prevent continuation where they it exists and prevent re-occurrence in the near future.

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