Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Shaikh Zayed believed that it is important to respect everyone equally. Throughout his life, Shaikh Zayed treated people with utmost respect regardless of status or gender. Students should also treat each other with respect. This will surely decrease the rate of cyber bullying.

Anyone who is cyber bullied should first tell an adult who will help him or her solve the issue. A reason for bullying is that students do not respect each other and others’ culture. 

Having interviewed some students, we have come to the conclusion that cyber bullying is a problem quite widespread. 

Have you ever been cyber bullied? How did you react?

Grade 7

Yes, I have been cyber bullied. I use the Facebook and Instagram social networking sites. I had posted a photo in a traditional dress. I received a lot of negative comments even from my close friends. Many people posted comments saying that I am an old fashioned person. Some of my close friends said that they had thought I had a good taste in fashion but now they realized that they had been wrong. I was very depressed. 

The first thing I did was tell my parents. They told me that I would have to reply to my friends on the social networking site. 

I took  their advice and told my friends that they couldn’t expect me to wear western clothes at a traditional festival. I also told them that wearing traditional clothes was not bad.

Have you been cyber bullied in a chat room?

Yes, I have been cyberbullied in a chat room. Many of my friends were a part of the chat room. After many days, even I joined the chat room due to peer pressure. 

I registered anonymously so no one would recognise me but my friends had registered with their own names so I was able to recognise them easily. They used to speak about me and sometimes reveal my secrets. They knew that I was in the chat room but weren’t bothered as they thought I wasn’t going to tell anyone. 

I soon told my parents who advised me to tell my teachers and supervisors as it was a matter between my classmates and me. My friends were remorseful for what they had done and I forgave them knowing they wouldn’t do anything like that again.

It is my duty as the leader of the young people of this country to encourage them to raise their own standards and be of service to the country. The individual who is of a sound mind and body, but who does not work, commits a crime against himself and society.”

Cyber bullying is a terrible experience

Grade 8

The next time you see a seven or eight-year-old with their head bent over a device, think again before you marvel at their expertise in gaming or discovering the right app for YouTube.

These kids are also potential victims to the cyberbullies that stalk the internet. Cyberbullying is being cruel to others by sending or posting harmful material using a cell phone or the internet. Cyber bullying can boast that it is more widespread than traditional bullying forms and is more perilous, as it violates a person’s privacy and sense of well-being. Cyber bullies are often motivated by the anger, revenge and an indefatigable hunger to target people usually weaker than them.

The Year of Zayed espouses respect – a value, when implemented by people in a community or society, aids them in accepting people of different compositions. Our late Founding Father, Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, promoted inclusion through respect – a vital ingredient in the utopian sustainable society.

The Internet is fascinating enough to quickly grab the attention of today’s youth, however, it is also the most excellent example of your typical two-faced brat. The recent wave of deaths that shook the world from the Blue Whale Game – the epitome of a chill inducer – proves how peer pressure can be a factor that pressurises today’s youth to invite peril by joining unsafe online chatting portals among others.

Social media – the ultimate haven for cyber stalkers – is yet another example of bait where users, tempted to publicize every moment of their lives, do not realise that they are feeding the cyber bullies, who, later, utilize the ideal opportunity to blackmail victims with their personal information and compel them to do their bidding.

Many internet users have admitted to being cyber bullied through negative comments and such, with a large proportion of the youth not having informed their parents out of fear.

There are, however, many hands to help and we must reach out to them if we find ourselves caught in a whirlpool of internet perils.

Action plan to reign in bullies

Grade 8

Shaikh Zayed’s characteristics highlight how he was respectful to everyone’s opinions and views and his open-mindedness. He always stood with the right and made tremendous efforts in moulding the UAE into what it is today. Keeping in mind his sterling qualities, we, as citizens of this leading nation, have viewed Shaikh Zayed as a role model in every aspect of our lives.

The UAE has taken impactful initiatives to curb the acts of cyber bullying in the nation. Cyber bullying, including threatening, impersonation, fake accounts, is now termed as a criminal offence and these incur stern punishments by the UAE Cybercrime Law initiated by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2012, that states that cybercime criminals could have a life sentence and a fine varying between Dh50,000 and Dh3 million.

As cyber bullying continues to prevail among teenagers, the UAE has set up effective campaigns in every school, emphasising the importance of social media safety and the urge to inform an adult if anyone goes through the horrific psychological trauma of cyber bullying.

We, at The Primus Private School, Dubai, have also initiated preventive measures to combat cyber bullying - safeguarding school computers and tablets, and talk sessions with victims who have overcome this phase to share his/her experiences, that are systematically undertaken every year.

Hallmark of a righteous leader

Grade 8

“To treat every person, no matter what his creed or race, as a special soul, is a mark of Islam.” —  Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. 

The former president of the UAE definitely practised what he preached. Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan was a role model for many, especially in the matters of respect. 

Shaikh Zayed treated all people with utmost respect, regardless of their gender, religion, status or nationality. This led to the creation of the diverse society that the UAE is today.  

Shaikh Zayed’s high regard for this moral earned him a lot of respect. In order to honour him, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan declared the year 2018 as the Year of Zayed to commemorate Shaikh Zayed’s 100th birth anniversary. 

Shaikh Khalifa added that this decision reflects the unique standing that the UAE’s founding father had with every Emirati. 

Consistent with the values espoused by Shaikh Zayed, it is intended that the Year of Zayed includes people of every race, faith, gender or social status in a series of events.

Inputs from Malavika Rajesh, Kalyani Krishnadas, Sarah Loulaj and Sharvari Joshi, students of Primus Private School