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Bullying at school – what do we do? Part One

Bullying at school – what do we do? Part One

Bullying at school – what do we do? Part One

#bullyingmustfall – Share your views

News24 recently ran a story about a boy who was bullied at a Cape Town school. The boy’s mother felt that the school could have done more to protect her son. The story was met with an overwhelming response from the public, which shows that bullying remains a huge problem around the country.

In part one of our two-part series on bullying at schools, we highlight some opinions from the community about bullies and bullying – should parents be blamed? What should schools be doing? In part two, we’ll share advice on solving the problem of bullying in schools.

Should parents be blamed?

A News24 poll asked: should parents of bullies be held accountable too? The results? 81% of respondents felt that parents should shoulder the blame, whereas 19% felt it depended on the situation.

Elvievan: “Sue the parents!”

“Parents should be sued! The laws in this country need to change so there are real consequences. Bullying today has gotten out of hand. It’s everywhere and in all levels of schools. Nothing is being done about it.”

Elize Ellis: “Parents must wake up”

“I agree that bullies’ parents should be the ones to pay. They teach their kids to be bullies. Kids are like puppies: teach them to be placid, they will be placid. Teach them to be wild and to bully and that’s what they will become. So parents must wake up to their kids’ faults.”

Other responses from the public came in thick fast. What do you think of the responses below?

What about the bully?

Kay Gounder: “Send them to juvenile school”

“Put the children in juvenile school where they’re taught to be adults and how to treat a person.”

JFZ: “My child was the bully”

“My son has been involved in bullying other kids at school and I didn’t waste time, I stood up as a parent and engaged with the teachers. I put my foot down and I continue to monitor him all the time. Bullying is in the mind – if you teach your kids to respect themselves, they will never do it again. My son is showing signs of changing and [we] help him to choose his friends carefully.”

What should schools be doing?

Anina van der Spuy: “Teachers aren’t security guards”

“Hats off to people who are finally stressing the truth: the school cannot take responsibility for parents not doing their jobs teaching ethics and respect! Parents, lead your children by example. Give teachers the full contact time to teach, not play security guards.”

Gerhard Freyer: “Teachers aren’t equipped”

“Schools have a big part to play. Our children spend most of their day at school and teachers have an obligation to ensure a fair and safe environment for all children. The biggest problem that I have personally witnessed is that teachers are either not equipped or interested in dealing with bullying.”

What about government?

Ryno van der Merwe: “Our hands are cut off by government”

“I think the government is the problem. They tell kids that they have rights and can’t be touched by parents. I’m not saying that you should abuse your child but giving them a hiding now and then will help keep them in line. We are raising kids without boundaries and respect, and our hands are cut off by the government.

Share your opinion on the matter with us. You can also email contact@saferschools.co.za to contribute your views on this topic.

Look out for part two in our bullying series next week, where we’ll feature some of your comments, as well as helpful advice on dealing with bullying in schools.

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