Dec 21. 2023

When I speak to school principals and assistant principals, I typically speak on the topic of “Impact of School Culture on Students’ Mental Health” which is based on my first book.

I get excited about these presentations because these give me a chance to speak to a group of school administrators such as principals and assistant principals who are typically responsible for establishing and maintaining the culture in a school. In my book titled “A Life Interrupted – the story of my battle with bullying and obsessive compulsive disorder” I describe how a negative school culture contributed to a devastating mental illness that I had to deal with for many years.

When I was going through elementary and middle schools, most principals and vice principals did not do a lot to prevent bullying that I had to put up with. Many of them believed that children should be allowed to deal with this by themselves. In my view it is wrong to expect children to take care of this by themselves. School officials need to accept this responsibility to maintain a positive environment for all children.

There were also some principals and vice principals who believed that “boys will be boys” and things like bullying are ok. Then there were others who promised to do something about this, but did not do anything to back up their promises. I make a sincere effort to deliver the message that none of these approaches are appropriate. All school administrators must take the responsibility seriously and work hard to maintain a positive bully-free environment.

© 2017 - Sumi Mukherjee
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