6 months ago
File photo.
File photo.  ~ 

South African school halls are one of the most dangerous, it is reported that 57% of South African learners have been bullied on and off school premises.

According to Cleo Protogerou and Alan Flisher, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, scholars from the University of Cape Town - bullying is a subset of aggressive behaviour that is expressed in an open, direct way like physically hitting.

It is also expressed in a relational, indirect way like spreading rumours, gossiping, excluding and isolating someone from a group.

However recently, the internet has provided an arena for additional types of bullying dubbed cyber-bullying, including behaviours such as name-calling using social media channels, sending threatening messages, posting one’s picture or video on the Internet without permission.

Considering that we have 2.2 million school-going children in this country, those percentages translate into truly tragic numbers.

Gail Dore a family counsellor says that she believes that children who bully other suffer from a very deep-seated sense of inadequacy.

In South Africa we have also seen the rise of learners stabbing teachers to death and some attacking each other in plain view.

Research has shown that bullies seek to gain external validation from their peers by terrorising them.

They seek to gain an elevated status that comes with being feared by others.

Most schools in Gauteng have shown disturbing signs of this escalating problem that has its roots deep in the home environment.

Bullying can prove fatal for both the bully and the victim, if it is not brought to an adult’s attention.

We have seen learners take their own lives because of bullying and in some instances kill the bully.

The solution to this could be actively involved by ensuring that all schools get a school counsellor.

That not only is the counsellor a trained professional but creates a neutral ground where learners can feel safe to speak of both academic and personal challenges.


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