Raise your voice on bullying

2019-04-30 06:00
Raising their voices against bullying.

Raising their voices against bullying.

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Learners of Norman Henshilwood High School in Constantia were visited by provincial minister of education Debbie Schafer and DJ Carl Wastie as part of the Western Cape Department of Education (WCED) “Raise Your Voice Not Your Phone” anti-bullying campaign, last Tuesday.

The visit is as part of a “roadshow” to schools highlighting the effects of bullying on learners, as well as, to draw attention to the fact that learners who film, post or distribute videos are also participating in the bullying. In a statement, Schafer said: “Given the prevalence of bullying in our schools, the WCED embarked on this campaign in August last year. The intention of the roadshow to schools is to create awareness regarding the toolkit that has been developed to educate learners and schools throughout the province, to “Raise your voice, not your phone”. It is a message that should be heard all over the world,” she says

The campaign provides tips on what one can do to help victims that are being bullied, as well as, the types of support that is available for learners that are experiencing such abuse. Principal Jawaad Holland says schools are faced with different forms of bullying every day and it is important to create awareness around bullying and therefore these campaigns are very much needed. “It is important for learners to know the role they can play when witnessing an incident. The slogan, “Raise your voice, not your phone” hits home. The fact that Schafer is personally involved in this campaign, taking the time to come and visit the schools, tells me that she is serious about this anti bullying campaign. I hope that she continues in this vein, and becomes the “crusader” for anti-bullying,” he says.

Holland says the initiative is a good one but it must not stop there. “Schools need to enforce this consistently. Bullying is not going to go away overnight, so we need to continue campaigning. School rules and policies must adequately address bullying, and these must be enforced. He went on to says that unfortunately they are also affected by bullying but they depend on learners to report any form of bullying as soon as possible. “We do not condone bullying. Students can learn and achieve at optimal level only if they know they are both physically and psychologically safe at school. Every child deserves to feel safe in their school environment,” he concludes.

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