Video bully says ‘sorry’

2016-10-18 09:38

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Cyber bullying has been highlighted again after a video seeming to show it in action did the rounds on social media recently. In the video a 16-year-old girl, said to be from Grassy Park, appears to be threatening a 14-year-old girl.

The video is a culmination of voice notes sent between the two girls. The girl making the video threatens the other girl and explains, using explicit language, how to go to the victim’s home.

In one snippet, the alleged bully is heard saying: “I know where you stay, so I’ll [just] come till there. The police better escort you or I will escort you to your grave.”

During this she is spurred on by a peer in the background.

The video was published online last Monday evening and sparked wide reaction after being watched more than half a million times.

Reprimand
Reactions stretched from people feeling sorry for the “bully”, saying that everyone “makes mistakes and she is just a teenager” to that of parents saying if it were their child doing the recording and spewing vulgarity, they would reprimand her.

Memes mocking the “bully” were created and shared on social media seeming to have the roles reversed where the “bully is now being the bullied”.

The “bullying teenager” has since apologised for the incident online and deactivated her Facebook account. Some followers said her apology was “not remorseful”.

Jessica Shelver, spokesperson of the provincial minister of education, Debbie Schäfer, says the department has “zero tolerance for bullying in our schools and are therefore very concerned regarding the video”.

Abuse power
Shelver explains: “Bullying behaviour is typically when a child or group of children misuse their power to hurt other children or exclude them.”

She says the department has been made aware of the video.

“Our officials are aware of the video and disciplinary action will be taken against the perpetrators.

“Counselling and support will be provided for the victim.

“There are three pupils involved in the making of the video – two are pupils at Groote Schuur and one is a learner at Lotus River Primary School,” Shelver says.

The school management team and school governing body of Groote Schuur hosted an assembly to address learners. Police visited the school on Tuesday to address the learners.

“Respect for human dignity is one of the values enshrined in our Constitution and bullying is a denial of this. Our pupils have a right to a safe schooling environment and we have to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to bullying if we want to build a caring society based on the values of our Constitution.

“It is crucial that the rights of learners are respected and protected and that learning environments are created where scholars can, free from abuse, make full use of their learning opportunities,” Shelver says.

She says bullying tactics have now also evolved, with modern technology being used.

“More recently, the internet and the increased use of mobile devices have provided an arena for this type of bullying, which includes name-calling and using social media platforms to send threatening messages, emails and viruses, hacking and posting one’s picture or video on the internet without permission.

“Any form of bullying can have dire consequences, and as schools, parents and educators, we have to respond accordingly and in a timeous manner.”

Shelver could not confirm whether any charges were laid against the trio behind the making of the video.

“We appeal to parents to keep an eye on their child’s behaviour. If your child seems withdrawn or angry, investigate the reason for these changes and speak to the class teacher immediately if the matter is school-related. Parents can contact the nearest district office if they are not happy with the response of the school.

“Parents, of course, also have a crucial role to play in raising their children not to be bullies, and not to show them the example of being a bully.”

Read more here. Call the provincial education department’s Safe Schools call centre on 0800 45 46 47.

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