Bullying at school alarming

2016-10-25 06:00

SCHOOL bullying has reached alarming proportions across KZN with numerous videos of bullying going viral on social media.

However, many parents are now questioning the reason for the “liking” and “sharing” of these videos.

Some say this only brings unwanted attention to the bullied child, and boosts the ego of the bully, while others feel there is a need to highlight the problem and get bullies reprimanded.

A parent, whose daughter was bullied by a group of girls at school, said her child has never been the same since the video went viral.

“My 16-year-old daughter was bullied at school. One day she came home in tears, her hair was a mess and her tie was loose. When I asked her what happened she told me that a group of girls had just hit her, claiming she was ‘stealing’ someone else’s boyfriend.

“I was furious at the girls for hitting my daughter and secondly, what are such young girls fighting over boys for in the first place.
“My immediate reaction was to go to school and confront the situation, but it was after school hours so I had to wait until the next day.”

The parent said to make matters worse her daughter had received WhatsApp­ messages showing the video of her beating and she was also told it was on Facebook.

All our family and friends watched the video and saw how helpless my daughter was. We kept getting calls, etc., which made the matter a hundred times worse. I think the videos are extremely harmful and do more harm than good.

“My daughter is now embarrassed to leave the house and feels she has been tarnished by this forever.”

Nikki Mohlmann, a volunteer at Open Door Crisis Care Centre and Kloof CPF said she has seen recent videos of bullying and feels that by sharing the video it highlights the situation.

“Bullies need to understand the repercussions of their actions and people need to stop pretending it is not happening. I do not think it promotes it. It will also expose the underlying problem the bully has.”

Steven King of SA Community Crime Watch agreed and feels that bullying in schools has reached an unacceptable level.

“Not only are the victims physically bullied, they also suffer emotional and verbal abuse from the perpetrators. When children stand up for themselves the perpetrator will escalate it to a next level, and that is to call in their friends and gangs.

“I have personally been involved in situations where children were bullied and met with some of the bullies. They range from age 14 and up walking around threatening people. We have seen cases where children were beaten so severely by these perpetrators they end up in hospital or in a morgue.

“So many of our children committing suicide today do so as a result of bullying and abuse and see no other way out as there is no one to actually help them.

“They feel hopeless as these bullies just carry on and on and on most occasions, when authorities are called in they change their story for only a little while.”

He said that social media is a way of exposing the abusers and bullies and we have seen that on each occasion where it was leaked the responsible school was forced to intervene as the public demanded action.

“My advice to people, who have children in school and hear they get bullied - don’t rub it off and say ‘grow up’. Take a stand, form a committee and involve the parents whose children are suffering. Involve your local sector commander, station commander and a representative from the education department and get the help and results your child and family deserves.”

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