CAPE TOWN. - WeCan24, in association with Kidz2Kidz, and vocally supported by a galaxy of radio- and TV-presenters, have rallied in support of a national anti-bullying campaign to stamp out violence in schools and to establish learner-friendly environments for teens on playgrounds.
The Anti-Bullying campaign was launched on the eve of international day of peace which is observed around the world on 21st September.
According to Troy Martens, spokesperson for the ministry of basic education, the department does not routinely collect data of bullying incidents that occur in schools.
Snapshots results of a previous national school violence study revealed that bullying was widespread in South African schools as a total of 22.2 % or more than one million learners were victims of violence.
Online violence or cyber bullying was reported by 20.9 % of young people in South Africa.
“I think often bullies forget how much it hurt when they were on the receiving end, or maybe that’s why they do it,” said Gerald Petersen, weekend-presenter at Smile 90.4 FM.
“Either way, Bullying is absolutely not okay. It’s great to see and hear that the rest of us are no longer willing to tolerate this,” he added.
Jo-Ann Strauss, a former Miss South Africa and a well-known business woman, said eradicating a culture of bullying in South African educational institutions can only occur when schools make a firm commitment to uproot this scourge from society.
“Practical steps to change the culture of bullying, is to consistently instill values like peace, tolerance, respect and the importance of a genuine caring spirit at schools, while punitive measures will be implemented consistently if bullies continue their destructive behaviour.
“If you are a victim or an eye witness to bullying, don’t hesitate or blink. Use your voice to reprimand the perpetrator and urge others to do the same.”
Bullying is never in order. You won’t alleviate your own self-esteem by breaking down somebody else. Building up somebody else, will make your soul smile and your heart waltz,” said Cato Bekker, a KykNet-presenter.
“The uniqueness of Facebook, Pokemon Go, Instagram and Snapchat were inspired by the uniqueness and creativeness of women and men. But sometimes our uniqueness are misunderstood by others, or they feel threatened,” said Marco Spaumer, a KykNet-actor.
“You must link up with people that celebrate that creativeness in you and honour it. A bully cannot crush your passion or your hard work,” Spaumer added.
Adrie Jurgensen, group manager: Media24 community services and project manager for WeCan24, said it is pivotal to create awareness of school-bullying and to emphasize that this is intolerable while demonstrating vocal support for the voiceless and the marginalized.
“Yet, future generations will not only judge us by what we opposed, but by what we created. They will be grateful for the platforms we established to empower the current South African learners,” Jurgensen said.