Can we, as parents, as teachers, as friends or classmates, prevent similar outbursts of aggression and human suffering from happening to us?

Nade Molerovic


A 14-year-old in Belgrade killed nine classmates and the janitor, injured a teacher!

Similar threats have been made in other schools in Serbia!

In Skopje, a student threatened others with a knife!

Could it be any more dramatic and tragic for all of us?

Has anyone noticed how these kids behave?

Is it possible not to recognize the emotions of children when they are mad, when they are bitter, disappointed or angry?

I keep asking myself this question after the recent events with tragic consequences, even for those who survived the brutalities.

Is it possible to be so alienated and selfish not to notice the sadness, suffering, anger or rage of those around us?

Can we, as parents, as teachers, as friends or classmates, prevent similar outbursts of aggression and human suffering from happening to us?

Children want to live, learn and create in an environment where they feel accepted, understood, respected and valued.

Our schools have turned into institutions where children feel stressed, disrespected, misunderstood, discriminated against and unheard. You will rarely hear a child telling you with enthusiasm and delight how happy they are at school. Why?

They are stressed at school from daily interrogations, tests, mobbing by friends, sometimes by teachers; parents keep them in a state of pressure and high expectations, too. Straight As… is that all that matters at school? Our children have been through a pandemic, they are hearing about conspiracies in the world, about threats of wars and disasters. They live in a digital revolution, but learn contents that frustrate them. So much content is unclear, confusing and difficult. The textbooks are unintelligible or they lack completely, bomb threats and false information are received every day. And we expect the children to acquire intellectual knowledge and excellent grades!

Additional stress and children with increasingly pronounced mental disorders, fears and panic attacks that something terrible would happen to them. They receive scores with decimal numbers as a mirror of their worth.

We have no authority, family values are disappearing; honesty, diligence, respect, empathy, kindness or love is rarely glorified.

Stupidity, crime, vulgarity, primitivism and ignorance are praised. I read that some children in Belgrade named the child who killed out of hatred and anger because of bullying ‘a hero’!

This tells us that they, too, are victims of violence of various kinds and they see him as a hero, as a brave man, because he ‘managed’ to deal with the bullies. What a twisted justice.

Schools have a key role to play in tackling bullying and violence among teenagers. Work must be done to create a culture of respect and inclusiveness, where all students feel valued and safe.

This may include implementing policies to recognize violence, report and respond to bullying, educate students about the consequences of bullying, and provide resources and support to victims of bullying. We need trained teachers who will be their greatest mentors.

Parents and guardians also have an important role to play in preventing bullying and violence among teenagers. The information from UNICEF that in Macedonia every second child is bullied by their parents is sad and tragic.

And what can we expect? Violence begets violence.

If society wants, if it knows, if it is aware of the problems of children and youth today, it must focus on the role of parents, teachers, media and other factors in the community to educate us all how to recognize, report, discuss and listen to children about the things that make them sad, unhappy or stressed, so we could overcome problems with a single goal in mind: HAPPY KIDS!!!


Nade Molerovic, retired teacher