A speaker at the anti-bullying forum. Image Credit: Sabq

Cairo: A school forum in the Saudi capital Riyadh has started a campaign to raise public awareness about bullying at malls.

The drive follows three days of debate at the forum that wrapped up on Tuesday as part of a largescale campaign against bullying titled “You Have No Right to Behave Like This”. The drive runs until the end of May.

In the past three days, the Forum of the Riyadh Schools Against Bullying featured a multitude of lectures and workshops targeting students, parents and student guides with the aim of educating people about perils and harms of bullying and enabling youngsters to tackle different aspects of the misbehavior, according to Saudi news portal Sabq.

One lecture carried the title “Impact of bullying on society” while another lecturer explored causes and harms of bullying”. Tackling bullying was at the centre of a lecture delivered by psychologist Weam Al Omari.

A related campaign got underway on Tuesday at shopping centres in Riyadh.

During the drive, male and female students as well as school guides highlight perils of bullying to shoppers.

Bullying is deliberate misuse of power through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour aimed to cause physical, social and/or psychological harm to the victim. The act can involve an individual or a group behaving aggressively against one or more persons who feel unable to stop it from happening. Bullying can happen in person or online using digital platforms and it can be glaring or veiled.

All aspects of bullying are punishable in Saudi Arabia. Penalties for bullying in schools in the kingdom are several including deduction from the offender’s class marks and transfer to remote schools. Other forms of bullying including online misconduct can cost the offender SR500,000 in a fine and a maximum of one year in prison.