Call to report bullying timeously

2016-09-20 06:00

The education department says it is very unfortunate that many cases of bullying go unreported.

Jessica Shelver, spokesperson of the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), says, in a statement, after a Grade 7 learner at a school in Plumstead allegedly committed suicide at his home, on Wednesday 7 September, because he was allegedly bullied at school. It is alleged that the learner was constantly ridiculed in class by his teachers for “being a slow learner”.

“We can confirm that the school has reported the tragic death of a Grade 7 learner who committed suicide at home last week. We are deeply saddened by the loss of such a young life.”

Shelver says the department views bullying in a very serious light.

“Unfortunately, many cases of bullying go unreported and the WCED is therefore not able to intervene. It is important that parents and learners report any form of bullying immediately to their class teacher, school principal or to the Safe Schools hotline,” she says.

Following the incident, the department sent counsellors to debrief the teachers and to advise them on how to discuss the tragedy with learners. Learners also received counselling.

“Our district officials have informed us that no incidence of bullying has been reported by the learner to the school or the school social worker. Our officials are investigating,” says Shelver.

The department’s Safe Schools hotline is available to schools, teachers, parents and learners to report all school crime and abuse, and aims to contribute to a safe and crime-free school environment.

Safe Schools then refers cases to special education support staff, as required.

The districts also run a number of initiatives, awareness campaigns and training programmes in schools which include learners signing anti-bullying pledges.

The education department has a policy called “Abuse no more” that provides clear guidelines on how to deal with various forms of abuse, including bullying.

“Parents are key to identifying behavioural changes in their children which could be as a result of being bullied. I therefore 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 If your child seems withdrawn or angry, investigate the reason for these changes and speak to the class teacher immediately if the matter is school related.”

The department’s web site includes a popular section on discipline, including guidelines on how to deal with bullying.

V The guidelines are on The Safe Schools toll-free number is 0800 45 46 47.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham

Here are just ten of our favourite plus-sized models:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.