News24

Bullied teen hangs herself

2011-09-05 09:28

Pretoria - A Grade 11 pupil at the Akasia High School in northern Pretoria hanged herself with a belt from a dress in her room last week after being bullied at school.

Meagan Boltman, 17, committed suicide in her parents’ home in Orchards on Thursday.

Her neighbour and good friend, Neill Venter, raced to hospital with her but it was in vain and she was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.

“I still can’t believe that she is gone,” said her mother, Kethura Boltman, on Sunday.

“I’m dead. I feel like I could run to a place where there is no food and water and collapse.”

She was in tears as she described Meagan as a wonderful child.

Bullied

Kethura said other children had called her daughter names and said ugly things about her.

She had gone to the school herself and had talked to the principal about it.

Peter Boltman, Meagan’s father, said his daughter had such zest for life.

“She was always just silly and joking around, spontaneous.

“She was my pillar and I could always depend on her if I needed anything.

 “I can’t describe how it feels to lose a child.”

The family will have a service at home on Saturday after which Meagan will be buried in Eersterust in the east of Pretoria.
 

Comments
  • Maddi - 2011-09-05 09:35

    RIP Meagan. I do so wish that teachers would take note when children are being bullied. This tragedy could so easily have been avoided

      saabnut - 2011-09-05 09:53

      What a tragedy- RIP.

      OHNOCOMRADESITSBOFFINBOB - 2011-09-05 10:04

      Tragic indeed. I wonder if the bullies are feeling any remorse whatsoever ? I sincerely hope so. Schoold days are supposed to be the best days of ones life & sadly for many, this is not so.

      info - 2011-09-05 10:11

      I do so wish that parents would take note when their children bully.

      Tinkie - 2011-09-05 10:20

      My son was bullied a lot at school last year to an extent he didn't want to go to school anymore. I tried reporting it to teachers, the principal and various others but to no avail. The Principal just kept saying it happened 'off school premises' (right at the school gates where the kids waited for him) so there was 'nothing he could do'. They tampered with his bicycle and all sorts of things. As a special needs kid already battling, this stripped him of all his confidence. It worries me that the school seemed so reluctant to do anything to protect my child or other kids being bullied!!! Our kids have the right to an education and to feel safe and secure at that place of learning. This family have my deepest sympathy. May the kids who bullied this child and the teachers who did nothing about it catch a wake up!!! Please wake up

      LiciousDee - 2011-09-05 10:52

      I totally agree Maddi, teachers and principal should have taken it seriously and dealt with this firmly but now its too late to point fingers. May her wonderful soul rest in peace.

      sabc10 - 2011-09-05 10:53

      We should also be aware of our own children becoming bullies. The origin of this starts from the parents who conduct themselves like the forefathers who have been "bullies" in their own right. The culture of bigotry and prejudice is still very prevalent in south african culture.

      TacksGP - 2011-09-05 11:09

      Its so sad was has happened one life lost to suicide is one life too many!!! May Her soul rest in peace!! These kids have no direction they mock each other, they mock teachers, now look the poor child has lost her life!!! there is a serious lack of discipline in our children, i say bring back corporal punishment!!!

      mario - 2011-09-05 11:14

      Ja, ne, such a beautiful child RIP Angel, I tried to do the same a few times while I was at school, till a friend of mine did it and I saw how it destroyed her family, children are evil things raised by even more sick parents...strange I heard one of my bullies hung himself a while ago, I couldn't help but snicker and say "ag shame he deserved it, karma and what you do onto others will come back to your three fold " So anybody else out there that is getting bullied, just tell yourself, this to shall pass, they aren't worth your time.... and rather imagine a noose around their necks than your own.... it worked for me!

      praxis - 2011-09-05 12:02

      of course now the excuses will start about why they couldn't help her. These teachers and especially the principal must be severely censured for their lack of action!, to those bullies; your day will come scumbag and I hope it's soon! shame on you!

      coconuts - 2011-09-05 12:13

      Name and shame those bullies - but then with them being under 18 the names cannot be published

      DEVILS SON - 2011-09-05 12:18

      Mario man i relate to this stuff, cos more than a decade since i matriculated i still have the cr@p that i endured through highschool clear as day in my mind, alot of anger, and hate. distrust of people, almost crushing fear to voice my ideas and opinions. i never attempted suicide, i went the drugs and alcohol route, along with several other people in my standard. school was the most terrifying experience of my life. made the drug lifestyle seem almost tame, i feel for people in school, its more twelve or more yrs of torture for some

      Meanleader - 2011-09-05 15:04

      Shame jirra !!! What a devastating blow to her parents . My heart goes out to her family . Ijust wish the teachers would be more vigilant , this surely should have been reported and prevented >

      pierreedge - 2011-09-05 17:04

      First, my most sincere sympathies to the family of the victim, what a waste... But this is weird, people seem to be blaming the teachers and school while they simply brush on the main culprits: the bullies and their mother and father who made them what they are. The teachers are there to teach, period. Laws should be enacted to jail parents of bullies!

  • Louis F - 2011-09-05 09:36

    R.I.P, so sad..

  • Noziwawa - 2011-09-05 09:39

    So sad may her soul rest in peace. Its not nice to see young souls being bullied and taking their souls because of other kids. I feel for her family.

  • Nedkelly - 2011-09-05 09:40

    Shocking, sad, shameful. Why didn't the teacher do anything about it? Bullies should be given capital punishment at school in front of everybody - just so that they know what it feels like to be bullied. My sincere sympathies to the family on this avoidable tragedy.

      Scaramouche - 2011-09-05 09:44

      I agree that more should be done to address bullying, but "capital punishment in front of the everybody" is not the answwer Nedkelly. It actually gives a message that violent action is justified and that when teachers act like bullies it is OK. Better interventions needed.

      Scaramouche - 2011-09-05 09:45

      I need to add - one of the reasons why children bully others is that they probably experienced bullying elsewhere. So to act like bullies towards them just reinforce a message that they allready know.

      Jamie - 2011-09-05 09:51

      A bit extreme, don't you think ? Corporal punishment might be sufficient.

      shadow4 - 2011-09-05 10:03

      This is a sad and tragic story, and my heartfelt condolences go out to the family. I am definitely for punishing children in school (and home) through the use of a good smack on the backside. I used to get smacked and I think it made me a better person for it. But we should clarify that 'capital' punishment is the sentencing of someone to death, whereas 'corporal' punishment is what we are talking about here...

      Bearded_Wun - 2011-09-05 11:20

      I actually agree with Ned but also its the parents of the bullies that need to take action. If the parents are arrogant people the children follow suite.

      DEVILS SON - 2011-09-05 12:47

      dont know if any one here has seen bully beat down, clips on youtube, great clip, had the word poison in title, or self proclaimed king of frezno, same episode if im not mistaken, good entertainment show right there

      mario - 2011-09-05 16:44

      Ag man my one bully was paid by teacher to beat me up....

      Mike - 2011-09-06 11:00

      Why are there 9 thumbs down? Makes the average straight person sit up and wonder WTF - why ? In my day "spare the rod and spoil teh child" was the norm - today in the enlightened era it seems everybody can do as he pleases. If any person bullieed anybody else he/she would certainly have been "bliksemed"

  • Scaramouche - 2011-09-05 09:43

    Truely sad. More should be done to address bullying in schools. RIP Meagan.

  • lollie sue - 2011-09-05 09:43

    And the Principal did nothing to help this child, bullying should be taken seriously. My condolences to the family.

      Mike - 2011-09-06 11:01

      Why a thumbs down?

  • FIO - 2011-09-05 09:51

    Parents also need to teach their kids values of life, too many bullies and trouble-makers out there, and mostly its the result of bad parenting. Teachers at school should not be responsible for the way kids behave, their role should be complimentary to the standards and values set by parents. If parents dont get it right, how can one expect teachers too?

      Bailey G - 2011-09-05 12:04

      I agree with you completely FIO. As a daughter of a teacher and a principal, I do not believe the responsibility lies with the teachers and principals in these cases. With most teachers in public schools sitting with between 35 - 50 kids per class these days, one cannot expect them to "bring up" and be responsible for children's actions these days, especially when they are no longer allowed to discipline them without a law suit being laid against them. Add to that, the amount of paperwork, hours spent on extra-murals, and pathetic salaries - I think most teachers these days go above and beyond their ways to just get most kids through school. Parents need to wake up with their kids and start disciplining where necessary. It is no one else's responsibility but their own to ensure that their kids become young and responsible adults.

      SoulChild - 2011-09-05 14:17

      Parents need to instil values and morals in their children but I am a student teacher and I see that in most schools the teachers do not care. I went to a school where a bully beat another learner to death with the back of a desk. The main question is "where were the teachers" Most of the teachers do not walk around the schools to see what is going, they all hide in their classrooms or staff room during break. Parents leave the children in the safety of the teachers and principal, but are your children really safe. I wish that people will learn from this but they probably won't. Deepest sympathy to the family.

      Gambino - 2011-09-06 17:25

      The child is in the care of the school and teachers at the time that the bullying is taking place, the school should discipline these children - it is also their responsibility. Doesnt help to always just blame us parents, the school can help and save children. Bullying must be one of the most horrible humiliations anyone can suffer.... Poor child and poor parents - and all for nothing......

  • Sir-Vic - 2011-09-05 09:51

    My sincere condolence to the family in this difficult time.

  • werner.smidt - 2011-09-05 09:53

    Wow ... although tragic, I think she absolutely owned whoever bullied her with this move. I wish I had words that could console her parents . . .

      Mr.Faice - 2011-09-05 11:32

      you spelled pwned wrong

      werner.smidt - 2011-09-05 12:32

      Indeed, I did ;-)

  • GetReal - 2011-09-05 09:54

    I think it would be appropriate to name and shame the bulliers. Why don't they do some investigating and find out who they were and put their pictures on the front page of the newspapers.

      greenking1978 - 2011-09-05 10:22

      Absolutely!!

      jka - 2011-09-05 11:54

      fight bullying with bullying? restoration, not vengeance my dear friends

      daaivark - 2011-09-05 12:33

      Completely unrealistic. Bullying is an infectious phenomenon, and you are NEVER going to find out which particular people were involved, if indeed it was particular people and not just a pack of nasties. The latter is probably the case, as bullying most commonly is a pack mentality thing. In this case, then, should one name the school? the suburb? where does one stop.

      GetReal - 2011-09-05 13:01

      @daaivark - I completely disagree. Bullying may be some of the things you say, but inevitabley there is a pack leader... a main instigator. If you can't find them, then fine, don't publish. But in my opinion, it would not be difficult to find out. I bet you most of the pupils at that school could tell you at a drop of the hat who the main culprits are.

      Gambino - 2011-09-06 17:27

      Remember, the kids know who they are and they will tell...

  • Beverley - 2011-09-05 09:56

    Condolences to the family. This Headmaster should be taken to task for ignoring the mother's visit and not acting on her concerns. This young life may have been spared!!

      DEVILS SON - 2011-09-05 12:51

      the moms visit may have escalated the problem, thats how kids are, then mockery happens because your mommy came to bust the bully, mom felt better but kid gotta go back the next day.

      DEVILS SON - 2011-09-05 15:17

      i see the thumbs downs, and i give me one too, but that is unfortunately how it is. i think with girls the bullying is far more emotionally damaging, i know im gonna get hammered for this but its not my opinion, woman tell that woman are the worst, alot of my female friends dont hang around with other woman cos of the bitchiness, i mean guys its cool, fist fight, shake hands problem solved, unless you hit puberty when you 17, but then haha unlucky,

      KanaMay - 2011-09-06 21:25

      I was bullied by several BOYS because I was too `opinionated for an ugly GIRL'. Yes, girls' bullying can be more subtle but that doesn't mean boys ain't nasty. Strangely, most of the bully boys were the ones who never had a chance for advanced school that I went to eventually. I did try to solve the problem once by pushing one of the loud-mouthed idiots, but then that boy became the butt of jokes too ...

  • Crimson - 2011-09-05 10:01

    The school and principal should in some way be held accountable for this. If the parent/s already approached the principal, then that means this was an on going situation! The prinicpal abviously has a lack of leadership. R.I.P Meagan

  • choppadrivah - 2011-09-05 10:07

    My Child was bullied at school some years ago, I charged the culprit children for common assault and their parents and the Headmaster as accomplices (at a larny white school). That put the "cat among the pigeons". Lots of scandal when the cops arrived to take statements from the headmaster. The nonsense stopped instantly. The School management must be partially responsible for manslaughter here RIP Meagan.

      Tinkie - 2011-09-05 10:22

      Thanks for the tip!!! :-) Good for you! Maybe also charge the Dept of Education as well.

      LiciousDee - 2011-09-05 10:57

      Thanks @Choppadrivah, advice noted:) will definately use that in future.

      mlh@24.com - 2011-09-05 14:40

      Well done Choppadrivah! Its SO sad that a lovely young girl with her whole life ahead of her felt this was her way out.....Bullying is a VERY SERIOUS occurrence!! It's not taken seriously enough at many schools! I too have nipped 2/3 incidents in the bud by going straight to the culprits and saying that charges are going to be laid at the Police Station. I THEN! informed the class teacher and headmaster and overnight it stopped. The school had a series of discussions about bullying. It should be taught on a daily basis!!

      KanaMay - 2011-09-06 21:36

      My Mom also threatened to call the police when my things kept disappearing at school. It turned out after I named the likely suspect that many classmates admitted they'd heard of her past theft problems some years ago. You really need to talk forthright, with some threat to take things further.

  • Hannetjie - 2011-09-05 10:10

    It is so sad that young lives come to an end like this. Earlier thie year a very talented matric pupil at a local school in Ekurhuleni also committed suicide because she was depressed. People should watch out for signals that all is not well with teenagers and not make it out as nothing, especially if they are hinting or enquiring about suicisdes.

  • SGL - 2011-09-05 10:24

    RIP Meagan. Your death was so unnecessary and I really hope that the extreme step you took was not in vain. I sincerely hope that the pupils who bullied you realise that they in effect are responsible for your death. I also sincerely hope the school sits up and takes notice of what is going on and takes action too. My daughter's school has an Anti-Bully policy in place and quite a few children have been taken to task and/or been expelled due to bullying. There was also the case of a mother who bullied the children in her child's class and she was asked to remove her child from the school. Unfortunately children can be really cruel and I agree with Maddi that teachers need to pay more attention to what is going on in the classroom and on the "playground". Parents also need to be more in touch with their children. Too many children feel they cannot speak to their parents or teachers because the adults "don't have time". All schools should have a trained person who can counsel children.

  • Enigma - 2011-09-05 10:27

    My deepest condolences to the family, may her soul rest in peace. I think the dept of education should have counselors to visit schools on regular basis so that they can identify kids with problems and try to help them. Some kids are afraid to share somethings with their parents.

  • Wayne Hayes - 2011-09-05 10:27

    This is heart wrenching. Hope those bullies have the guilt trip every single day for the rest of their lives.

      Mikea - 2011-09-05 13:28

      Agreed. The problem with Bullies is that they are actually cowards because they hang around in groups. Hope they have nightmares every night. They should be brought in front of the school and the same done to them otherwise it they will continue doing it. I wish I could get my hands on them. Little bastards. Principal should also get rapped over the knuckles.

      wendylg - 2011-09-05 15:48

      I TOTALLY agree with you!!!!

  • GypseyAnn - 2011-09-05 10:33

    This is just very sad. RIP Meagan and condolences to family and friends. Let those who are guilty of bullying take note how much pain and suffering they caused another human being and change their ways.

  • motsokwi - 2011-09-05 10:33

    Give yourselves a pad on the shoulder for once a tragedy is not turned into a political mambojambo. but wait until daaivark switch his computer on.

      LiciousDee - 2011-09-05 11:09

      you're plain stupid you twat!

      Greenrain - 2011-09-05 11:18

      Get a life you sad person.

      Gungets Tuft - 2011-09-05 11:21

      @Motsokwi - I get it, I think that Licious did not. YOu are right, it is seldom that comments get opened on subjects like this without trolls getting stuck in. It is terribly sad, but much harder to deal with at school than people think. Bullying takes many forms, with cell phones and the internet it can be terribly subtle. How terrible that it costs lives.

      daaivark - 2011-09-05 13:02

      Was that necessary. I don't recall ever having exploited tragedy. Obviously you have some issue with me. So be it. This is a tragedy in no uncertain terms. Incidentally, I think you mean "pat".

      Mike - 2011-09-06 11:16

      @daaivark - what motsokwi thinks and actually writes are 2 different things. For "it" (I can't make out what he/she/it is!). I actually doubt whether it can think! It is fools like these that start with the racist remarks and turn things political. Oh, sorry - it can't be "it", for racism is only what whites exercise, Not?

  • christo.kotze - 2011-09-05 10:39

    the problem is not he teachers not noticing it it is that they cant to any thing about it. The children of today is bad I was nuaty on school and everything but still had respect for my peers and teachers. These days they spit on them, touching of bums of teachers sending sexual threads and this is suppose to be a good school?? The youth of today is disgusting. Do yourselves a favor and ask your kids some of the stuff that happen in schools these days. And them seeing this and seeing nothing happens about it leads to them thinking it is fine or not so bad. It is shocking

      christo.kotze - 2011-09-05 10:40

      My hart go's out to the Family this is the worst.

      Mike - 2011-09-06 11:18

      Why do you proffer that teachers can't do anything about it and why?

  • rushi.nortje - 2011-09-05 10:41

    Ai, sooo sad!! May God be with the family & friends †

  • Flarkit - 2011-09-05 10:56

    Such a sad loss. Sympathies to the bereaved

  • willemvdwalt - 2011-09-05 11:00

    @ Tinkie and other parents of Bullied children. I was also bullied at school, everyday! And not only did I overcome the fear and lack of confidence, but I made my choice to become a person that will overcome my learning challenges and accel at everything I do. to the schools and the teachers: these children are put into your care and it is up to you to create a culture within the school that does not tolerate this kind of behaviour. I think that bullies not only need counseling, but also need to be charged with assault or whatever relevant charges there might be. Lastly, Facebook is a great thing: seeing the people that bullied me at school now... some of them failed school, dont have careers, went into gang and drug related behaviour. So tell your children to stick to how they are!

  • Law01 - 2011-09-05 11:01

    what a tragedy!! We need to go back to devine advices to prevent us from the sick society we have become today, rape, abuse, incest, immorality have become wide spread. Go back to the teachings of GOD the almighty, teaqch our children to have respect for others and have tolerance, compassion. I am muslim and believe that the teachings of Islam is a solution to all ills we face today. Tomorrow it could be our Child!!! I also studied ISlamic LAw, the statistics of Rape/Suicide/Murder is close to ZERO percent in Countries such as saudi Arabia where Islamic Law is legislated. All Religions teach good Morality so let us adhere to these teachings of GOD and be the change of this sick culture we have currently.

      LiciousDee - 2011-09-05 11:13

      We need to bring back assemblies at school where everyone needs to pray every morning (invite God in the youngster's lives every morning) it won't stop the bullying but they'll have a concious atleast

  • Cyberscep - 2011-09-05 11:05

    Same old story from when I was a kid at school 25 years ago! Teachers and head staff clearly did not take the appropriate action against the bullies which then resulted in Megan's death. The bullies should be immediately expelled and tried for MURDER as her death was a DIRECT consequence of THEIR actions! If it was my child I would also sue the school for gross negligence in not dealing with the issue! Problem is in this country is that people do literally get away with murder.. day in - day out!!!

      Greenrain - 2011-09-05 11:26

      No offence, I was bullied badly at school. But i did not commit suicide. What these kids did was bad but they did not murder anyone. Children will be bullies its how it is. Loads of kids gets bullied, its a fact. She must have had additional emotional or psychological issues. If she was a kid with a zest for life and loving parents, i question how mere bullying could have led her to that...Definately a factor though. But i am not a psychologist and this is merely my opinion. I feel very sorry for her family! RIP

      Flarkit - 2011-09-05 13:02

      @Greenrain: "mere bullying"?!? I'm sorry, but you cannot know how far the bullying went, nor how the individuals reacted to such abuse. It's entirely plausible that Meagan just could not face another day of torture. Bullying may be a regular occurrence at schools, but that doesn't mean that its effects should be underestimated or down-played. Nor should the emotional issues, which cause some children to enact their rage on softer targets, be ignored as "mere bullying"!

      DEVILS SON - 2011-09-05 13:04

      green rain the reality of anything depends on the perceptions of the individual experiencing it.

      The Gecko - 2011-09-05 13:20

      @Greenrain - 1) Its hard to have a zest for life when you are in hell five days a week. I take leave to doubt how badly you were bullied, if you were still able to have a "zest for life", and if after it all you still use the words "mere" and "bullying" in the same sentence. 2) Her loving parents did all they could, but could not get the school to co-operate. What else would you have suggested they do?

      DW - 2011-09-05 14:07

      @ The Gecko - "Peter Boltman, Meagan’s father, said his daughter had such zest for life" - the comment came from the article and Greenrain repeated it. I agree with you, though. Bullying is unacceptable. My son was subjected to it and I really battled to know how to handle it. I gave him lots of support but the school was not particularly interested. He came through it but it made his school days extremely unpleasant.

  • Greg Bunyard - 2011-09-05 11:11

    Schools must take responsibility for all bullying at their schools. There are some clever ways of dealing with it. At some schools, pupils are educated in what causes a bully e.g. it is often about conflict in their own family life and they take it out on someone else at school. Bullies are named and shamed, and then required to attend professional counselling by the school psychologist.

      sabc10 - 2011-09-05 13:07

      Schools in any form eg judo schools,karate schools,modelling schools, etc...have all been guilty of creating bullies.For example, Its well known that victims of bullies have also enrolled in karate schools but usually the sensei's themselves are either bullies or victims of bullying.We need to beware of such schools that violate such philosophies.

  • Mikii - 2011-09-05 11:18

    Tinkie, So what now? This is the sort of thing that make a family take justice in their own hands. Get bigger kids to wait for the bullies after school and sort them out. Like the frigging Bush Mafia.

  • snickertates - 2011-09-05 11:20

    The children who bullied her should be tried for culpable homicide! Perhaps if there were actual LAWS against bullying, we wouldn't be hearing such stories. May her soul RIP. Heaven knows how stricken and last she must have felt to have actually gone through with suicide.

  • lacisnesnon - 2011-09-05 11:22

    Bullies have no idea what they do! I have been a victim myself and I still suffer the damages thereof! I try to forgive them, but it's very difficult.

  • Carl Muller - 2011-09-05 11:24

    Only the children that have been bullied can feel with her..... May she rest in peace..... All the best to her parents, stand strong...

  • Bev - 2011-09-05 11:41

    Such a sad story, what a beautiful girl. The bullying in schools has to stop, too many children are killing themselves because of bullying and no-one seems to care. Rest in Peace Meagan!! You are with angels now.

  • Mart - 2011-09-05 11:43

    This tragedy is as a direct result of 'bullies' not having to contend with corporal punishment as a form of discipline. I place the blame squarely in the lap of those who oppose the use of 'boundaries' to teach children discipline and to force them to respect others. Fear of consequences is no longer a trait encouraged or supported by the education systems of the world. Let this be a lesson to parents out there...you are responsible for every single thing your child gets up to, and in this case your failure to raise your child properly may have caused another to take her own life. For your child to prey on the weaker kids is a sad indictment on you as a parent, but who knows they probably learnt it from you.

  • baudumpho - 2011-09-05 11:44

    This is sad.Bullying is getting out of hand.Teachers and principals must wake up before it is too late. RIP

      Bailey G - 2011-09-05 12:07

      Correction: Parents of Bullies need to start disciplining their brats and stop blaming teachers and principals for their behavior. Bad Parenting 101.

      DW - 2011-09-05 14:12

      Bailey there is a place for both. Teachers and principals SHOULD get involved by calling in the parents of the bullies at the request of the bullied child's parents. My child was bullied and I had no idea how to contact the parents of the bullies to try to sort it out. There SHOULD be consequences. The bullies should be punished (detention,censure etc). They should not just get away with it because no-one does anything about it. You show NO leadership whatsoever in your attitude. YES, the parents of the bullies are responsible for raising their children correctly. But are you just going to turn a blind eye when it happens and parents come and ask for help? That is what the principal at Megan's school did, and see the result?

      Bailey G - 2011-09-05 14:30

      DW - I respect your comments and agree with some points you have laid out. HOWEVER.. When last did you take the time to sit with a teacher or principal in a government school, and listen to the amount of issues they deal with on a daily basis? Here are just a few as an example: Child molestation and rape by parents and relatives, teenage pregnancy, AIDS and HIV, Abuse, Broken Homes, Psychological problems, drugs, etc, etc, etc. NOW, add to the above, pressure from the education department for pathetic and completely useless paperwork that now has to be done for each and every child that eventually ends up in some dusty closet; extra murals which take up afternoons, weekends and school holidays, etc. Most teachers and principals are trying their best when it comes to picking up these problems where possible, but parents need to realize that these educators also have huge amounts on their plates at schools along with their own families lives and well being to look out for. Once just needs to look at the teacher : learner ratio in classrooms to figure out why sometimes, these things don't get picked up. Try dealing with 35 - 50 teenagers on a daily basis - and see how easy it is to maintain one on one relationships. Out teachers and principals are placed in environments which are becoming worse and worse each day and are paid nothing for the generous and selfless work they do. Its about time we praised the ones who are doing all they can

  • Karen - 2011-09-05 11:44

    Sincerest condolences to Meagan's family & friends. What a tragic and senseless passing! Hope the wheel turns & karma whacks those bastard bullies in their arrogant faces! Sadly, the spineless principal & teachers will find a way to justify their lack of action & contribution to the death of this young lady.

  • minibotes - 2011-09-05 11:49

    So sorry to read about this. RIP beautiful young lady. My son was also bullied in a private school. Headmaster kept on saying that I need to go through the right channels as its not his department to deal with things like that. I took him out and placed him in a government school. The children started at the beginning of the year and it was sorted out very quickly by the teachers and headmaster. My son is very big for his age and he gets mocked and teased about it. I blame allot of parents for not teaching their children that there are different people on this earth. My heart goes out to this girls parents and to all the other parents whose children are being bullied. It hurts the children but it also hurts us parents.

  • Dayat Atime - 2011-09-05 11:59

    Pathetic. Bring back corporal punishment in schools and at home. Much like our law enforcement system there is a distinct lack of fear in the youth today. Nothing will happen to those that caused this poor girl to make such a sad choice simply because nothing can be done to them or we will be 'abusing children'. New constitutional amendment needs to be added. The moment you violate or ignore another human's rights, you waive your own. String the bullies up on the nearest tree, they show severe lack of promise in becoming real contributors to this country and we have enough children running around now anyway.

      Gore - 2011-09-05 12:11

      Correct, we need a preventative measure NOT the corrective after effect that pschologist seems to dish out after disaster. There needs punishment that kids fear personally before breaking the rules - not go to the corner and think or no celphone for 2 days. Also not advocating beating the kids to pulp.

      frankm - 2011-09-05 16:56

      "New constitutional amendment needs to be added. The moment you violate or ignore another human's rights, you waive your own.", this is the best comment I have ever read on here, I agree 1000%.

  • Flea - 2011-09-05 12:28

    Please please take bullying more seriously. My 10 year old daughter is bullied at school, name calling etc. She doesnt want to go back. The girls are breaking her spirit...My heart goes out to these parents, I think it can happen so quickly:(

  • TinaM - 2011-09-05 12:44

    Bullying should really be seen as a crime as the outcome of it is tragic in so many cases. Poor girl that it left her with no other alternative than to take her own life - heartbreaking!

  • opc - 2011-09-05 12:50

    these bullies has blood on their hands!!!!!!!!

  • AlexX - 2011-09-05 12:50

    So sad :(

  • Annie - 2011-09-05 12:56

    Such a tragedy. RIP Meagan.

  • CEA - 2011-09-05 13:05

    All of the people who try and blame the teachers and principles must catch a wake up, teachers can not do anything to bullies, they are not police officers, this is not there fault but the society you live in, you as the parents dicided to make the teachers a lifeless profesion where they only have to teach, Go and read Lord of the flies, it is a book most of your children might be reading in school as a prescribe book, Children without guidance and order fall back to primitive social behavior, eat or be eaten. That is something you as a comunity bred, no teacher or principle can do their jobs in forming children anymore because their hands are tied up, and the rest of the country shows these primitive behavior too. The person who must take responsibility for this tragic accident is the whole of South Africa, the problem is not just a tiny problem. RIP

  • Underwhelmed - 2011-09-05 13:05

    Problem starts at home - angry kids come from angry parents. People breed without knowing each other & without understanding the consequences. People should HAVE to APPLY for a licence to breed, then they will be the ones who actually want to have kids & will raise them well.

      wendylg - 2011-09-05 15:54

      Altho what you say is 100% TRUE!! A young life is lost & that is 1 too many!!!

  • Flarkit - 2011-09-05 13:21

    I'm not so sure I agree with the views that teachers are blameless. They are authority figures who undertake to educate children. In order to execute that duty effectively, they should also be teaching their charges to be respectful and disciplined, otherwise the teacher may as well talk to empty classrooms. They are a first port-of-call for pupils who are being harassed and have the necessary authority to take actions to resolve the situation. I'm not laying the blame wholly with the educational staff, since raising decent members of society is a complex task which involves parents, teachers and others. However, when the risk of serious psychological or physical harm is evident, they must be a part of the solution.

      CEA - 2011-09-05 14:36

      Your comment is noted, but see how many children can not be reached by the teachers due to communities outcry just a while ago (year or two) that teachers are not not even allowed to console children by phisycal contact. Teachers is also not always close by when these things do happen, and by reporting these incidents, you can agravate the bullies even further. Blaming teachers is not going to solve the problem, blaming their parents is also not going to do any good, it would only be like a duck in water. We as a society must take responsibillity for our own actions. Stop looking away if something unjust is about to happen and stop blaming everybody else for our mistakes. Therefore I myself take responsibillity for what happened to the poor girl and will in the future be more vigilant in addresing unjust and immoral behaviour. (Please do not comment on my spelling)

      Flarkit - 2011-09-05 15:03

      @CEA: It sounds as if you're implying that neither teachers nor parents of bullies should be expected to become involved? Instead, "society" has to resolve cases of bullying? That makes little to no sense. The teachers and parents are the most immediate recourse for kids who are subjected to such abuse. Of course each person also has a responsibility to assist someone else who is in dire need of assistance. But when a victim is not able to protect themselves, their first recourse has to lie with authority figures. Else we're simply left with a kangaroo court situation where the community (ie, "we as a society") take matters into our own hands. Furthermore, saying that "children cannot be reached by teachers due to community outcry", points to a serious failing in the education system and its policies. An effective educational system must teach its learners to be respectful, else it is failing its purpose. One must NOT avoid reporting miscreants for fear of "aggravating the bullies even further". If that were so, then criminal intimidation would be the standard procedure and we might as well lie down and allow them to walk all over us. I'd rather advocate employing legal means to end the abuse.

      CEA - 2011-09-05 15:22

      I am not saying whe sould be vigilanties, but we sould stop to blame everyboby else (Teachers and principles in this case) and look at what we can do as a society to improve our moral values and respect... how many times do I have to see people living only for themselves and their own social/economic gains. Yes these people sould be reported, yes these people sould be brought to justice. I agree! But we must stop and look for ideas how to rectify the problem, not spew out blame to everyone else. I agree with what you say, I just want to look for solutions and not play a blame game.

      CEA - 2011-09-05 15:24

      "It takes a community to bring up a child not just parents"

  • diaan - 2011-09-05 13:27

    Saying that bullied kids should toughen up is like saying rape victims shouldn't have dressed so slutty. http://dreamfoundry.co.za/7316

      sabc10 - 2011-09-05 14:09

      I agree. I wonder if Judge Mogoeng understands this.

  • anwar.daniels - 2011-09-05 13:34

    Kids mimic the example of adults. Too much are we encouraging cut throat competition rather than co-operative consideration. This gives rise to too much praise of those who have and the rejection of those who don't.

  • Millie34 - 2011-09-05 13:44

    The children that bullied Meagan should be brought to task. The parents of these bullies should also be brought to task. Problem children normally have problem parents ie no respect, no boundaries and so we can go on. To Meagan's family our sincerest condolences. May Meagan rest in peace.

  • Spawn - 2011-09-05 14:02

    Terrible, terrible story. The worst part of all, is that once you are out of achool, you realise how meaningless and insignificant being 'cool' at school actually is. So sad what happened.

  • Spawn - 2011-09-05 14:05

    Send the police in, treat this as a murder investigation, and punish the culprits. Expel them from school and let them stand trial. Why the hell not, these bullies directly caused events to occur, which ultimately led to the death of an innocent girl.

  • Jenny - 2011-09-05 14:56

    RIP Meagan. These bullies should be charged. They are responsible for her death. Charge them with something akin to murder. Even if they don't go to jail, it should scare the crap out of them and make them think twice about bullying again. If this bullying was reported, then they obviously know who the culprits are. This is so sad and so unnecessary. She had her whole life ahead of her :(

      Komasa - 2011-09-05 15:03

      Dr. Phil's program covered school bullies today, and it seems to be those who 'have it' against those who don't 'have it', whether it be academic, sport or financial.