Invisible Threats in Education: Addressing Hidden School Violence

School violence, a persistent global challenge, is especially critical in Southeast Asian contexts where it often manifests in forms that go unnoticed or unaddressed. This presentation explores the multifaceted nature of this issue, highlighting the blind spots in our understanding and response to school violence. Beyond overt physical aggression, subtler yet equally destructive forms persist: mental violence, including bullying and psychological abuse; sexual violence, often shrouded in silence; and cultural and structural violence, deeply embedded in the fabric of educational institutions. Additionally, symbolic violence, expressed through language and imagery, perpetuates harm in these environments.

These forms of violence, frequently overlooked due to their less visible nature, lead to a culture of silence and acceptance. The presentation explores the reasons behind the persistence of such violence, including social norms, inadequate policy frameworks, and a lack of awareness among educators and students.

A critical component of the discussion is the role of bystanders. Empowering bystanders in Southeast Asian schools to recognize and safely intervene in situations of hidden violence is crucial. By transforming bystanders into active upstanders, we can create a more supportive and vigilant school environment. The presentation advocates for comprehensive educational reforms and awareness programs, aiming to disrupt the cycle of violence and foster a safer, more inclusive educational landscape.

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Posted by IAFOR