Pupils educated on bullying

2015-06-16 06:00
Beverly Davids, founder of Chaunceyand#039;s Epic anti-bullying club, comforts a pupil who opened up to her about bullying.

Beverly Davids, founder of Chaunceyand#039;s Epic anti-bullying club, comforts a pupil who opened up to her about bullying.

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Pupils at Sunderland Primary School in Kensington recently heard Beverly Davids talk about the importance of speaking out about bullying.

Davids is the founder of the Chauncey’s Epic anti-bullying club which was formed to help pupils, teachers and the community as a whole.

She says this topic is often neglected, leading to victims of bullying committing suicide as there is no-one to help or listen to them. The aim of her awareness campaign is to educate pupils about the effects bullying has on the victims, their families, loved ones and friends.

She encourages pupils to speak out. She urges pupils to inform three people immediately if they are being bullied. These three people are the teachers, the principal, and then the parents. She adds that this will help to make sure that someone who is being bullied is helped faster.

“This is a serious problem that has to be dealt with. Parents must learn to talk to their kids. Many times parents are working and they come home tired and stressed out; they don’t even have time to talk to their kids and hear if there is anything bothering them. This leads to kids suffering in silence.

“I’m glad that I’m doing my bit to educate people on the dangers of bullying. If I can change one mind then my job at that place is done,” she says.

The idea of this anti-bullying campaign came about after Davids’s son was bullied in Grade 7. She says she watched her child suffer and change in front of her eyes while he suffered severe bullying at his school. Despite reporting the bullying, no-one could help her or her son with the matter.

“He was beaten on the ground to the extent that his lip was torn. I remember how he was picked up by the collar by the police. No-one stood up for my child, no-one could protect him. That pained me a lot. At every door that I turned to no-one could help my son – to the extent that I had to take him and his sister out of school,” Davids says.

Now her job is to be an ear and help those that are bullied to deal with it. She also wants to tell people to be aware of how bullying starts. Since Chauncey’s Epic anti-bullying club started, Davids has spread her message at 12 schools around Cape Town.

In a statement, Debbie Schaffer, provincial minister for education, says it saddens her that bullying is a real issue in many of our schools. The department views bullying in a very serious light.

The Safe Schools call centre received 45 calls about bullying last year, and nine so far this year.

“Unfortunately, many cases of bullying go unreported and the education department is therefore not able to intervene. I therefore urge parents and pupils to report any form of bullying immediately to their class teacher, school principal or to the Safe Schools hotline, so that we can respond.

“The Safe Schools hotline is available to schools, teachers, parents and pupils to report all school crime and abuse, and aims to contribute to a safe and crime-free school environment,” she says.

The Safe Schools call centre can be reached at 0800 45 46 47.

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