07/11/14 (written by dpera) — Another bullying incident has led Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos, CNDH) to launch an investigation into the case. On June 30, Kevin de Jesús Calderón Díaz, a student at Carlos Pellicer Cámara secondary school in Emiliano Zapata, Tabasco, was allegedly thrown to the ground by fellow students, tied up with tape, and locked in a cage while at school. According to the CNDH, Kevin (16) is a student with learning disabilities who is the subject of frequent bullying by his classmates, ranging from taunts and ridicules to physical aggression. Kevin’s parents said that the school’s director has not taken the necessary measures to stop the violence targeted against their son.
The CNDH has sent investigators to Tabasco to interview Kevin, his parents, and various teachers and administrators in the school. Visiting associates and psychologists have already interviewed the victim to investigate the abuse, as well as provide support to the teen. The school’s director is open to the investigation, and the CNDH has instructed the school to begin implementing precautionary measures against bullying to move forward.
The issues of bullying and school violence in Mexico have gained attention in recent months. Kevin’s case builds upon another investigation launched by the CNDH in June 2014 into an incident in Tamaulipas where a student died after sustaining head injuries when fellow students threw him to the ground. Juan Martín Pérez García, director of the Network for Children’s Human Rights in Mexico (Red por los Derechos de la Infancia en México, REDIM) remarked afterwards that the organized crime-related and armed violence plaguing Mexico is reflected in schools, and that there needs to be a public program that begins to address the issue of violence among youth. In the 2013-14 academic school year alone, for example, the State of Mexico (Estado de México, Edomex) has seen more than 650 cases of bullying registered in its schools, largely in the municipalities of Ecatepec, Nezahualcóyotl, and Lerma. Many in Mexico are thus calling for communities to implement more policies and procedures targeted towards schools, parents, students, and teachers that teach children nonviolence, respect, and tolerance. For its part, Mexico’s National Teachers’ Union (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación, SNTE) has created an initiative called “Schools free of violence: a compromise for all.” Meanwhile, the CNDH has reiterated that school violence must be addressed immediately.