Bullied child known as school-hopper

BULLYING: What more can be done to stop bullying in schools? (Photo:Elzaan Pienaar)

BULLYING in the Alberton area is on the rise and since the RECORD’s article on October 11 about bullies, more parents have shared their stories.

We’ve listened to mothers telling us how some children as young seven years old had to endure abuse.

The general feeling from the calls received is that bullying starts at home. “If your father hits your mother or even if you as a child are neglected and pushed down at home, you feel the need to be in control and push others down to feel good,” said one mother.

A Grade One learner changed schools three times in one year after his mother took action against the teachers who bullied her son. She then moved him to another school where the bullying carried on. She went to the school to address the situation as it all started when a boy threw a brick at her son, slapped him in his face and tried to stab him with a pair of scissors. “They advised me the bully had a mental disorder and said I must move my son to another school,” said the mother.

“I am a mother of three and never had to go through this with my older children. Now that my little boy is in a third school, the problems he faces are endless. He is known as a “school-hopper”. Did you know that learners get a little file which follows them from school to school and now my child looks like the problem child!” she said.

“At the school he attends now, he is targeted as a problem child since teachers at this school are friends with teachers from the previous school.”

Read: Parents of bullied children are urged to take legal action against bullies

Again, as in the previous report by the RECORD, the bullied child had to find another school.

Schools are not at liberty to give any statements since the teachers are in the employ of the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE).

The RECORD requested comment from the department but at the time of print, none had been forthcoming.

STOP: Bullying needs to stop. (Photo:Elzaan Pienaar).

One principal however, confirmed the case of bullying and stated: “We called in legal action and your must remember that a story always has two sides.”

Another parent had the following to say: “I am highly disgusted with the bullying at school. Bullying starts at home. The bullies should be removed from school. They should be prosecuted with their parents. Why should an innocent children suffer? The bully should not have the right to an education. The schools really need to protect innocent children.”

Also Read: Residents share thoughts on bullies

“It is as if most victims of bullying must all look for another school. Parents do not know what to do and if they approach schools they discover their children are being bullied even by teachers,” the parent said.

Anti-bullying programmes

Most schools have a bully programme in place but when the RECORD asked one of the principals to share the programme we were told that: “The programme is available to the parents and children on the school’s communicator. We also offer counselling to both the bullies and the bullied as well as the parents of both parties. You can have a look at our bully policy. The department would not want me to make it available to you, but you can pull it from the internet.

“Once the case has been resolved we can sit down and discuss the programme intensively. It will have more value because then it does not pertain to a certain case in which children have either been found guilty or not,” the principal said.

Another mother of a bullied child said: “It is as if schools are scared to take action against bullies because their parents are one of the biggest sponsors. What happened to the passion to teach and to help children? What happened to discipline?”

“We feel hopeless and the most heartbreaking thing is that our children are being abused physically and emotionally. How do we fix that? How do I get back my child who was fearless and happy?” asked yet another concerned mother.

SCARED AND ABUSED: The mother of a seven-year-old told the RECORD that her son is not even old enough to understand what is happening. *Photo posed.

Some of the responses on the RECORD social media platform

* Nigel Connell , a follower of the Albert RECORD’S Facebook page said that there is still the perception that the victim is a ‘softy’. “That is never the case. The victim is a normal child preyed on by a social predator. Both need help from professionals,” he concluded.

* “This is not on…. the two girls who are the bullies are getting the message that it is ok. They should be stopped,” said Ronel Erlank Slabbert

* “So the victim is further victimised and what lesson does the child learn? Don’t trust adults and when you reach out for help, you will be punished. It is just so wrong,” Kim Williams wrote.

* Paulo De Oliveira had the following to say: “Expel the bullies, end of story. There is no place for bullies in schools in this day and age!”

The most important thing parents should know is that they can open cases at their nearest SAPS against bullies.

Lt Col Gerrit de Fillet from the Alberton detective branch said they are not going to tolerate bullies anymore. “Going forward, the Alberton detective branch will not drop the cases. Parents of bullies must remember that the days of them protecting their children are over. We will prosecute and children, whether under-aged or of age, will appear in court and will have criminal records should they be found guilty,” he said.

Report any form of crime to Alberton SAPS on 011 861 6800 or at Brackendowns SAPS on 011 617 5600.

*The RECORD has been in contact with the schools involved and comment from the GDE will be published as soon as it is received.

Also Read:

Legal action – the way to go?

Bullies get to stay in school

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  AUTHOR
Elzaan Pienaar
Journalist

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