How to deal with school bullying
Bullying in schools is becoming a serious problem around the world.
This week, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi ordered a probe into an incident that took place at a Vereeniging high school where a child was beaten and taunted by a fellow pupil, while the teacher looked on.
Gail Dore, author of the book Bully-Proof, which tackles key issues around bullying and is described as a “practical guide for parents, teachers and South African schools”, said bullying at schools was a reflection of violence in society.
“Bullying in South African schools is pretty much the same as it is everywhere, but it is definitely influenced by the level of violence in our society,” she said in an interview with City Press.
She said denials of bullying in schools was a major problem. From schools insisting there was no bullying to incidents of initiation being seen as “normal” schooling activities, many cases go uninvestigated and the bullying continues.
Dore’s book also tackles these causes and provides different approaches to addressing the bullying issue.
She suggested a “whole school” approach involving teachers, parents and learners as long-term solutions for bullying.
“The techniques mentioned in the book have been proven to be effective. All that is needed to drastically reduce incidents of bullying in our schools is for schools to apply these concepts consistently and with a willingness and determination to make every school a hurt-free zone,” she said.
Research on the subject of bullying does exist, but often fails to reach as many schools as it should, or the findings and strategies are simply not used.
Dore said there needed to be more research for a long-term impact. She cited the National School Violence Study, conducted by the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention, in 2008 and 2012, which revealed that close to 16% of learners said they had experienced bullying at school.
“I would like readers to understand that bullying, in all its various forms, is a serious problem. Not only is
VICTIMISED A new book on
bullying shows it’s a growing problem
in SA schools